Friday, February 1, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 1,2008) – The Bosnian Presidency adopted on at the emergency session in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo the Bosnian State Budget Draft for 2008. The President of the Bosnian Presidency Zeljko Komsic and a member of the Bosnian Presidency Haris Silajdzic voted for the proposal and a member of the Bosnian Presidency Nebojsa Radmanovic voted against the proposed budget.

”The issue is that the first version of budget was increased in the amount of 40 million Bosnian Marks”, Bosnian Presidency member Haris Silajdzic stated.

He stated that from that sum 25 million Bosnian Marks has been planned for return program, 10 million Bosnian Marks for science and development, that is, association funds, and 5 million Bosnian Marks for the Bosnian Ministry of Foreign Trade – the agricultural projects.

”I am of the opinion that more money needs to be ensured for the returnees. We asked the sum of 108 million Bosnian Marks. We cannot be completely satisfied because 36 million Bosnian Marks has been ensured from the amount”, Silajdzic said.

president Komsic remained loyal to his demand related to science and research projects and the Bosnian Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations. However, Radmanovic is of the opinion that this budget is not realistic and that there are many objections to be made against it, especially in relation to indirect taxation incomes.

Silajdzic emphasized that “Radmanovic holds important whether or not the budget will increase in the amount of 2,7 per cent. However, he did not accept the projection that it will be increased per 12 per cent. Bosnia is a country in which we are building institutions that we do not have yet and are implementing projects that are in our reforms program. All that can be achieved through budget”.

”Indirect taxation incomes are mainly directed towards the state and the remaining sum of money will be directed towards the entities. Sadly, we could not have reached an agreement on that issue, primarily because of the height of the budget”, Silajdzic stated and added that he regrets a consensus was not achieved.

”This new draft proposes the Bosnian state budget for 2008 in the amount of 1.231.357.560 Bosnian Marks. It will be sent to the Bosnian Parliament for procedure on behalf of the Bosnian Presidency”, the Bosnian Finance and Treasury Minister Dragan Vrankic stated.

Silajdzic is of the opinion that it would be good if the proposal of the budget is adopted at the Bosnian Parliament.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 1,2008) – Trial against Bosnian citizen Ilija Jurisic, accused by the genocidal Serbia of the attack on a Serbian aggressor's convoy in 1992 in Tuzla, during the Serbian aggression against Bosnia,will begin on February 22 in Belgrade,the genocidal Serbian aggressor's court announced.

Ilija Jurišić is a Bosnian patriot who participated in defending the Bosnian city of Tuzla from the Serbian aggressor,during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggresion against Bosnia.Jurišić has been arrested by the Serbian aggressor and has been in a prison in Belgrade since 11 May 2007.

In May 1992,the genocidal Serbian aggressor's troops came under attack by the Bosnian Army as they were withdrawing from the eastern Bosnian city of Tuzla and up to 200 Serbian aggressor's soldiers were reportedly killed and 140 of them were taken prisoners by the Bosnian Army.

Former Tuzla Municipal Council Chair Ilija Jurisic is still in custody in the genocidal Serbia in connection with that event.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 1,2008) - The International Community's High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajčák warned yesterday all Bosnian politicians to make every effort to build trust and confidence between citizens and not generate suspicion and uncertainty.

“Lack of understanding can inflame fear in the population which still has very painful memories of the recent war,” Lajcak said.

At yesterday’s press conference the prime minister of the genocidal Serbian creature in Bosnia ("the RS") Milorad Dodik said his party will seek the right to self-determination, including the option of secession for the RS during upcoming talks on Bosnia's constitutional order.

But,the International Community's High Representative and EU Special Representative Miroslav Lajčák said yesterday that “the RS does not have the right to secede from Bosnia, at the same time no one can unilaterally abolish the RS.”

“Bosnia is an internationally recognised state, its territorial integrity is guaranteed by the Dayton Peace Agreement and its existence cannot be questioned,” Lajcak stated.

The International Community believes a consensual process of the Bosnian constitutional reform is necessary as a means of making Bosnia more efficient and more effective for all Bosnian citizens, and in order for the country to conform with the EU accession requirements more easily,Lajcak said.


MARIBOR, Slovenia (February 1,2008) – A Trilogy "Alija: Up Close And Personal“, which was promoted on Wednesday in Maribor, and previous day in Celje, in the organization of Zgodinovski and Pokrajinski Archive, is having a large success in Slovenia.

The book was promoted by her author and the FBiH Entity Archive Director Ademir Jerkovic and preface author Valentin Inzko, the Austrian Ambassador to Slovenia.

Jerkovic, who once was an advisor and a close ally of the Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic, reminded everybody on the huge historical significance of the first Bosnian President who fought for Bosnia’s independence.

Inzko evocated memories on the President Izetbegovic in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo during the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia and later in the period of post war reconstruction of Bosnia.

Jerkovic’s Trilogy “Alija: Up Close And Personal” which was until now promoted in Bosnia,Croatia and Turkey, in Slovenia reached its 50th promotion, and in the Slovenian media received a significant publicity.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 1,2008) – On the final day of his testimony as a Defence witness, Serbian war criminal Zeljko Mejakic spoke of rapes of Bosnian women and destruction of documentation in the Omarska concentration camp,during the Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

He also spoke of how the genocidal Serbian aggressor's soldiers took valuables from detained Bosnian and Croatian civilians in the course of 1992.

"The first case of attempted rape, known to me, concerned the person who was examined as protected Prosecution witness under the pseudonym of K035," Serbian war criminal Zeljko Mejakic told the Bosnian State Court.

"She reported that a security person took her to a room and tried to force her to have sexual intercourse with him. In addition, protected Prosecution witness K040 told me, in the Omarska concentration camp, that another member of the security tried to force her into having sexual intercourse with him," Mejakic said.

The indictee added that he had informed Serbian war criminal Simo Drljaca about these two cases. Drljaca was killed when members of the international forces attempted to arrest him in 1997.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor charges Serbian war criminals Zeljko Mejakic, Momcilo Gruban, Dusan Fustar and Dusko Knezevic with the rape, torture, murder and beating of forcibly detained Bosnian and Croatian civilians in the Omarska and Keraterm concentration camps in the course of 1992,during the Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

Serbian war criminal Zeljko Mejakic said that he actually helped detained Bosnian civilians during their detention and after they were released from the Omarska concentration camp.

"After being released from the Trnopolje concentration camp, Prosecution witness K035 asked for my help as some soldier had threatened her by telling her that he would rape her.And when I received the lists of people who were going to leave the Omarska concentration camp, I noticed that Kerim Mesanovic was going to be transferred to the Manjaca concentration camp, so I asked Ranko Mijic, chief of an investigation group, to transfer him to Trnopolje and he did it," Mejakic said.

Kerim Mesanovic appeared before the Bosnian State Court as a Prosecution witness in 2007. He said that he left Trnopolje thanks to indictee Mejakic and that he also left Bosnia later on, after Mejakic helped him obtain a false identity card, which he used to enter Serbia.

Serbian war criminal Zeljko Mejakic claims that, in the Omarska concentration camp, some Serbian aggressor's soldiers took valuables and money from detained Bosnian and Croatian civilians, and were involved in the selling of food.

"I have to say that they used to ramp money in various ways. I remember when a soldier brought two boxes of cookies to the detention camp with the intention to sell them to the detainees," Mejakic recalled.

According to Serbian war criminal Zeljko Mejakic, Serbian war criminal Simo Drljaca "frequently visited" the concentration camp. He gave an order for removal of "any written traces indicating that there are any female detainees in the concentration camp".

"Drljaca made a specific order not to mention the female detainees. As per his order, we used to hide them somewhere when we had visits from the outside," said Mejakic, adding that most documents on this concentration camp "disappeared or were destroyed in the course of November 1992 and 1996".

Serbian war criminal Zeljko Mejakic also said that groups of journalists and a delegation from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) visited the concentration camp several times in 1992.

He also said that, in November 1996, he went to Serbia, and in 2003 he surrendered to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which filed an indictment against him in 1995.

The ICTY's Referral Bench rendered a decision to refer this case to the Bosnian State Court on July 20, 2005, as per the ICTY's Rule 11 bis on referral of cases from The Hague to local courts. The four indictees were transferred to Bosnia in May 2006.

The cross-examination of Serbian war criminal Zeljko Mejakic is due to take place before the Bosnian State court on Monday, February 4, 2008.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 1,2008) – The verdict against Rajko and Ranko Vukovic, former members of the genocidal aggressor's forces charged with war crimes, is due to be pronounced by the Bosnian State Court on February 4, 2008.

For the first time since 2004, when the Bosnian State Court began processing war crime indictees, an injured party has had a chance to present closing arguments. At the hearing yesterday, in addition to the Prosecution and Defence, Aljo Hukara - whose father Avdija was murdered by Serbian war criminals Rajko and Ranko Vukovic - presented his closing arguments.

The two Serbian war criminals also addressed the Bosnian State Court, claiming that the allegations in the indictment are false and that they have nothing to do with the war crimes described in it.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor charges Serbian war criminals Ranko and Rajko Vukovic, as former members of the genocidal paramilitary formations of the Serbians living in Bosnia, with having participated in an attack on the Bosnian village of Podkolun when they murdered Bosnian civilians Avdija Hukara and Mejra Bekrija.

In addition, Serbian war criminal Ranko Vukovic is charged with having raped a Bosnian woman in Miljevina village. The events described in the indictment took place in 1992 during the Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor said that the presented material evidence proved that indictees Ranko and Rajko Vukovic committed the crimes charged upon them and he asked the Trial Chamber of to pronounce them guilty.

"After the Trial Chamber pronounces the indictees guilty, I request it to sentence Ranko to a long-term imprisonment. The chamber should not take into consideration mitigating, but rather aggravating circumstances, such as persistence and ruthlessness in the commitment of the crimes," he said.

Defence attorney concluded that "the Trial Chamber can do nothing but pronounce a verdict of release" on the basis of the presented evidence.

Prosecutor considers that the first count, referring to the murder of Avdija Hukara and Mejra Bekrija, was "proved by the statement given by witness Bajro Hukara, the victim's son, whose credibility was confirmed by the Prosecution's material evidence, as well as by other witnesses' statements".


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 1,2008) – The Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) arrested yesterday Croatian war criminal Ante Kovac,who is considered to have committed war crimes against Bosnian civilians during the Croatian aggression against Bosnia in the early 1990's.

Croatian war criminal Ante Kovac (51) was arrested as per a warrant issued by the Bosnian Special Prosecutor's Office, which considers that he, as member of the fascist paramilitary formations of the Croatians living in Bosnia (HVO), committed war crimes against Bosnian civilians in the Vitez area from April to August 1993,during the Croatian aggression against Bosnia.

The Croatian war criminal was handed over to the Bosnian State Prosecutor yesterday. After examining the suspect, the Prosecutor will decide on eventual filing of a custody order motion with the Bosnian State Court.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 1,2008) – The FBiH Entity President Borjana Kristo met yesterday in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo with the Commander of the European Union Force in Bosnia (EUFOR), General Ignacio Villalain. They talked and exchanged information on security and political situation in Bosnia.

They talked about the issues concerning the reforms in Bosnia and activities of bringing Bosnia closer to the NATO membership.

”They expressed mutual satisfaction with the cooperation realized so far between the EUFOR forces and the Bosnian authorities in securing stability in Bosnia and region”, stated the cabinet of the FBIH Entity President.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 1,2008) – The Bosnian Parliament returned yesterday the bill on the Bosnian sport to Legal and Constitutional Commission.

Delegates did not accept the negative report of the Commission on the bill and have ordered the Commission to, within ten days, make a new report based on guidelines from yesterday’s discussion.

The Bosnian Minister of Civil Affairs Sredoje Novic addressed the delegates and expressed regrets that the bill will not be adopted, for the Bosnian athletes have been looking forward to that.

He stated that non-adoption of the Bill on the Bosnian sport brings into question participation of the Bosnian athletes at the international competitions, primarily at the Bejing Olympic Games.


ZENICA, Bosnia (February 1,2008) - Bosnian largest steel maker Arcelor Mittal Zenica said it planes to resume full production this year and achieve its prewar output level of two million tonnes annually.

The unit of ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steel maker, produced 570,000 tonnes of finished products and 533,000 tonnes of liquid steel in 2007, some 5.0 percent and 8.0 percent up respectively from 2006, it said in a statement.

The company, in which ArcelorMittal has a 92 percent stake, has an annual production capacity of 800,000 tonnes following the installation of a 100-tonne electric arc furnace.

Its exports fell by 5.0 percent to 360,000 tonnes of finished goods in 2007, the company said, adding that exports amounted to a total of 363 million Bosnian Marks (274 million US Dollars).

Zenica exports forgings, bars and rods to the countries of the Southeastern Europe and the European Union.

The former socialist-era giant produced some 1.8 million tonnes a year of steel and products before it stop production during the 1992-95 Serbia, Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia.

Last year the company launched a project to restart integral production and expand its portfolio with slabs and new long products so as to gain a place among mid-sized European steel makers.

"Works on the project are in full swing and on schedule," the company said.

ArcelorMittal also owns the majority stake in the Ljubija ore mines in northwestern Bosnia, which supply the Zenica plant with iron ore.

The integral manufacturing process (project Fenix started in March last year) will be launched this year, the company announced, and after that Arcelor Mittal Zenica’s annual output for liquid steel will be two million tonnes.