Sunday, December 16, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (December 16,2007) - The British ambassador to Bosnia Matthew Rycroft has started posting his impressions on life in the country on an internet blog in the Bosnian language.

“I have been living in Bosnia for almost three years and I work as the British Ambassador…I have friends from all over Bosnia, from different spheres of life, and friends who are diplomats like I myself.”

This is the first post for a blog called “Ambassador's diary” ("Ambasadorov dnevnik" in Bosnian) who’s author is Matthew Rycroft, the British Ambassador to Bosnia.

Unlike other blogs in Bosnia, the arrival of this one was announced from the British embassy’s press office with a statement from the Ambassador Rycroft saying that he had started his blog as a way not just of presenting his impressions about diplomatic experience in the country but also as a way of interacting with the Bosnian citizens.

“This blog will be the place for me to express some of my impressions, thoughts and observations about Bosnia, Europe and the global future in general…the world was never as connected as it is now”, concludes the Ambassador in the first post on his blog.

After only couple of hours more than 40 comments had been posted. Most of them were just saying “welcome”, but some offered more concrete ideas like “visit us for coffee, rahatlokum and baklava” or even “you should open a contest for the best comment and offer a UK passport to the winner of the contest” or saying “dear Matthew, looks like you had too much cevapi and water from Bascarsiha” or "it would be great if Milorad Dodik (leader of the Serbians living in Bosnia) would start a blog about his life in Bosnia".


LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (December 16,2007) - The process of EU integration is the best means of ensuring lasting progress and stability in Bosnia, the International Community's High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajčák told Slovenian officials during his visit to Slovenia.

In talks with the Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel, who will assume the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for six months on 1st January 2008, Lajčák stressed the positive momentum created by the initialling of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between the EU and Bosnia on 4 December.

“This good atmosphere of compromise needs to be used to bring the country closer to the European Union. The EU’s support for the European integration of Bosnia will only yield results if it is not abstract. Last week’s initialling of the SAA showed that the EU is prepared to reward progress,” Lajčák said.

Lajčák also briefed the incoming Slovenian EU Presidency on the results of recent meetings of the governing party leaders in Bosnia, which have committed themselves to draft a new state-level law on police by 15 February 2008 and resume discussions on constitutional reform at the end of January.

For his part, the Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel expressed his country’s full support for Lajčák’s efforts to advance reforms in Bosnia, in particular his contribution to reaching an agreement on police reform. He also confirmed that relations with the Southeastern European countries would be key priority of the Slovenian EU Presidency. Slovenia would strive to strengthen the Thessaloniki Agenda, which commits the EU to providing all the countries of the Western Balkans with a European perspective, Rupel said.

Welcoming the positive political atmosphere that can presently be felt in Bosnia, Rupel expressed his hope that Bosnia would meet all conditions for signing the SAA with the EU during the Slovenian Presidency in the first half of 2008.

“Bosnia is a country linked in many ways with Slovenia, and we want to use our Presidency for its promotion and progress”, the Slovenian Foreign Minister said.

Slovenia is committed to see Bosnia, like the remaining countries of the Southeastern European countries, get the chance of becoming a candidate for EU membership as soon as possible,he said.

During his visit to Ljubljana, the International Community's High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajčák also met with Anton Kokalj, the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Jožef Jerovšek, the chair of the European Affairs Committee of the Slovenian Parliament, as well as with the Foreign Ministry’s Political Director Mitja Drobnič.


TACOMA, USA (December 16,2007) - Croatian war criminal Bozo Jozepovic, 41, who tried to enter the United States in 2006 will be deported to Canada, according to an U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement press release.

Croatian war criminal Bozo Jozepovic, 41, a naturalized Canadian citizen, was ordered to appear before a U.S. immigration judge after he attempted to enter the U.S. illegally.

Based on the fraud charge, he will be banned for life from entering the United States.Croatian war criminal Bozo Jozepovic gained refuge and later citizenship in Canada after fleeing Bosnia 10 years ago.

An immigration judge in Tacoma has ordered Croatian war criminal Bozo Jozepovic deported to Canada and barred permanently from the U.S. Officials here say they plan to bring this status to the attention of the Canadian government.

Jozepovic is a Croatian who was born in Bosnia and fled Bosnia with his pregnant wife and child, obtaining status as refugees in Canada in 1997.

Canada granted him citizenship three years ago.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials say they have evidence he's a former member of the fascist paramilitary formations of the Croatians living in Bosnia (HVO) , which was involved in war crimes against Bosnian civilians during the Croatian aggression against Bosnia in the early 1990s.

Specifically, they link him to the 1993 killings of seven Bosnian civilians in the Bosnian village of Poljani.

Jozepovic's attorney, Len Saunders, said his client is not a war criminal and that the U.S. government's own documents on him show he was not in the armed forces and is not being sought by the Bosnian government.

Several top military and political leaders of the fascist paramilitary formations of the Croatians living in Bosnia (HVO) have been tracked down and indicted on war-crime charges.

"My client is concerned that if he's accused of war crimes, people would believe it.There's nothing that I've seen that says my client has committed these crimes," Saunders said.

As a long-haul truck driver for the past 10 years, Jozepovic entered the U.S. on numerous occasions.

But twice last year (in May and June) he was denied entry at separate border crossings in Washington state based on information in an international database that flagged him as a potential human-rights violator.

In the June 2006 stop, Jozepovic was ordered to appear before a U.S. immigration judge, charged with human-rights abuse, fraud and attempting to immigrate to the U.S. without a visa.

Saunders said his client had entered the U.S. several times between those stops, without incident. He has no interest in immigrating to the U.S.

As a Canadian living in Canada, Jozepovic didn't have to appear before a U.S. immigration judge,but did,because he wanted to clear his name, Saunders said.

At his hearing in Blaine in October, Jozepovic was detained by ICE after officials said they learned that an international warrant for his arrest was imminent. He was transported to the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, where he's being held.

"Here was a person who had committed some serious atrocities," said Dorothy Stefan, chief counsel for ICE. "It's not someone you want to have slip through the cracks."

The international warrant has never materialized.

At his immigration hearing in Tacoma, USA, Stefan said expert witnesses linked Jozepovic to the brutal mass murders in 1993.

Saunders said his client has kept the Canadian government informed of the proceedings and doesn't plan to fight deportation.

Identifying and removing persecutors and human rights violators from the United States is one of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's top enforcement programs.

To achieve this goal, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) created its Human Rights Violators Unit, with a specific mandate to deny safe haven to human rights violators by bringing to bear a full range of investigative techniques and legal authorities to identify, locate, investigate and remove them from the United States. ICE has currently identified more than 800 cases from 85 countries involving suspected human rights violators.

ICE encourages the public to provide any information they may have regarding human rights abusers living in the United States. In the United States anonymous tips may be reported at 1-866-DHS-2ICE (1-866-347-2423).