Friday, February 8, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 8,2008) – The Cabinet of a member of the Bosnian Presidency Dr Haris Silajdžić issued a press release accusing the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) of endangering the signing of the Stabilization and Association Agreement between Bosnia and the European Union.The press release stated

"Mister Sulejman Tihić wants to be seen as the person who opposes, as said, “Dodik’s ultimatums”. In reality, it is completely different and facts prove it, facts which were expressed in the public several times, as well as at the last meeting of political leaders in Široki Brijeg.

At the mentioned meeting of political leaders held on 02.02.2008, Mr. Dodik ultimately demanded that the Dayton Agreement should be the basis for discussions on constitutional reform, which Mr. Tihić accepted and has even insisted on the “April package” of constitutional amendments that were turned down in the Bosnian Parliament and that the voters have come out against by a great majority at the plebiscite at the elections. The aim of the proposal and of that which was stimulated by this proposal, is the definite confirmation of the existing state and in so doing, imposing the amendments of the “April package” contrary to the expressed will of citizens. The safest way not to change the existing structure is to confirm that structure with a new law. This act in fact ensures the implementation of the “April package” of constitutional amendments underhandedly, i.e. trough police reform.

Dr Haris Silajdžić refused the Dayton Agreement as the basis for discussions with an explanation that the Dayton Agreement was made by violating the international law and all civilization norms.

Additionally, Mr. Tihić at first refused the Protocol for police reform of the High Representative, and then he accepted it. Mr. Silajdžić refused the Protocol, justifying his decision by saying that the Protocol explicitly confirms the RS Entity Police Department.

The Mostar Declaration is not Dodik’s proposal but of Mr. Silajdžić, which does not confirm, or even mention entity police, because it clearly reads “the local level, as a part of the unified Bosnian police structure, will be regulated after the constitutional reform, in accordance with the three principles of the European Commission and the Mostar Declaration…” and its details will be defined trough the two basic laws: the Bosnian law on police service and the law on police Officers.

The SDA representatives’ proposal confirm the entity police with the new law and in so doing, they confirm the entity division in the new Constitution. The SDA’s proposal is organizing, focusing and coordinating the state and entity-level police and the Brčko District police, in performing security tasks in the interest of Bosnia. At the meeting of political leaders in Široki Brijeg, Mr. Tihić also explicitly said he would accept the RS Entity Ministry of Interior and the FBiH Entity Ministry of Interior, which did not comply with the previously expressed views of the SDA leadership.

The Mostar Declaration and the Action Plan avoid the confirmation of the entities, the entity police and they simultaneously create conditions for signing the Stabilization and Association Agreement with European Union, which is the priority task of Bosnia at this moment.

In other case, the SDA proposal confirms the entity police; it prejudices the Constitution in the sense of entity division and it endangers the signing of the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union." a press release from the Cabinet of Bosnian Presidency Member Dr Haris Silajdžić stated.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 8,2008) – The Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR), has urged politicians in Bosnia to hold back on “reckless statements” and instead concentrate on European Union integration.

But with their agreed February 15 deadline for new police legislation looming, leaders of the six most influential political parties in Bosnia have again fallen out over whether to allow a separate police force for the genocidal Serbian creature in Bosnia (RS).

Sulejman Tihic, leader of one of the two main Bosnian parties (SDA), last week rejected entity-based police forces as deepening the rift along the 1995 Dayton ceasefire line.

But,Tihic has reneged on the “Mostar agreement” reached late last year, which deferred major police restructuring until wide-ranging constitutional talks, the OHR said.

“The relation between Bosnia and Kosovo is another obvious reason why Bosnia needs to find its place within the European structures,” said the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak, who also holds executive authority under the Dayton treaty, in an interview with the Bosnian daily newspaper,Oslobodjenje.

Mr Tihic has simply taken a harder line to regain popularity in his own ethnic community, his critics say. Tihic's supporters accused Lajcak of appeasing the Serbians living in Bosnia who want to break the country apart.

However,Milorad Dodik, the prime minister of the genocidal Serbian creature in Bosnia (RS), told western officials that Bosnia would remain stable “no matter what” happened in Kosovo.

The carrot of the Stablisation and Association Agreement ended one of the worst political crises in Bosnia since the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions, with Bosnia's politicians reaching a consensus on initial police reform steps.

Haris Silajdizic, a member of the Bosnian Presidency said signing the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union would improve the political atmosphere in Bosnia.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 8,2008) – The Bosnian State Presidency urged the Bosnian Council of Ministers to intensify all reform processes until the Bucharest Summit in order for Bosnia to realize a next level of integration towards NATO.

The Bosnian Presidency reached this conclusion on the session within the discussion on information about the summit in Bucharest,Romania, which will be held from April 2 to 4, and which was adopted by the Bosnian Presidency.

As it was stated in the Bosnian Presidency release, the Bosnian Ministry of Foreign Affairs along with the Bosnian Ministry of Defense is obliged to prepare the platform for Bosnia's participation at this NATO Summit.

At this session, another invitation for participation at the Islamic Conference Summit in Dakar from March 13 to 14 was accepted by the Bosnian Presidency.

The Bosnian Presidency also received an invitation for the meeting of the Managing Board of the Council for Peace Implementation in Brussels on February 27.

Also, visit of the Romanian President in March was accepted.

The Bosnian presidency members also reached a decision on proclaiming a moratorium on the use of cassette bombs and ammunition in Bosnia and decision on acceptance a number of agreements.

They reached a decision on acceptance of the Framework Agreement between Bosnia and European Union on the cooperation rules relating to the financial aid for Bosnia within the aid implementation through accession instruments (IPA).

They reached decision on adopting the agreement between Bosnia and European Investment Bank – Project for water supply and sewage system in Bosnia, and the agreement on financing between Bosnia and International Association for Development IDA – Road Infrastructure and safety project.

The Bosnian Presidency reached a decision on initiating the procedure for the talks over concluding the agreement between Bosnia and the Czech Republic on cooperation in the fight against crime, drug trade and organized crime.

The Bosnian Presidency also reached a decision on accepting the Joint Declaration between the Bosnian Ministry of Security and Austrian Ministry of Internal Affairs in the field of security in the occasion of European Football Championship in 2008.

The Bosnian Presidency also reached a decision on accession to the Bern Convention on the Protection of European wild species and natural habitats.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 8,2008) – The examination of the convicted Croatian war criminal Ivica Rajic, who was invited to testify before the Bosnian State Court at the trial of Croatian war criminal Zdravko Mihaljevic, has been postponed until mid February.

"It is obvious we will not be able to examine Ivica Rajic today or tomorrow, due to some problems facing our colleagues in Spain. The alternative dates for the examination are February 18, 19, 25 or 26.As soon as we receive the final date from Spain, we shall inform you accordingly," said Trial Chamber Chairman Saban Maksumic said.

In October 2005, at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Croatian war criminal Ivica Rajic admitted he was guilty of participation in crimes against Bosnian civilians in the Bosnian village of Stupni Do in 1993,during the Croatian aggression against Bosnia. He was sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment, and is serving his sentence in Spain.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor charges Croatian war criminalZdravko 'Pijuk' Mihaljevic, former member of the fascist paramilitary formations of the Croatians living in Bosnia (HVO), with having attacked, persecuted, murdered and tortured Bosnian civilians in Tulice village near Kiseljak in June 1993,during the Croatian aggression against Bosnia.

At the hearing held on February 7, the Prosecution proposed that an additional witness be examined, who would describe "the indictee's behaviour and say what he was wearing on his head when he was arrested". It was also proposed that Mihaljevic be examined in order to determine "a disputable tattoo on his body".

The Defence objected to the examination of additional Prosecution witness Haris Adrovic, claiming that the witness' testimony "is not related to the indictment", but it did not object to the proposal to perform a physical examination of the indictee.

The Trial Chamber of the Bosnian State Court will render its decision at a later stage.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 8,2008) – Serbian war criminal Momir Nikolic, who has been convicted of war crimes at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, has testified before the Bosnian State Court at the trial of 11 Serbian war criminals charged with acts of genocide committed in the eastern Bosnian village of Kravica during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

Following a guilt admission agreement, the ICTY sentenced Serbian war criminal Momir Nikolic to 20 years of imprisonment for crimes committed in the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica. The Bosnian State Court admitted his statement given in The Hague as Prosecution evidence.

"I explicitly said that I do not want to be a Prosecution witness. I have serious reasons for that. I shall gladly testify as Bosnian State Court witness in order to help unveil the truth," said Serbian war criminal Nikolic. As he is serving his sentence in Finland, he testified via video link.

The Trial Chamber approved his request. Following a brief examination by chairman Judge Hilmo Vucinic, the Defence teams of the 11 Serbian war criminals were given a chance to cross-examine the witness.

In July 1995, Nikolic was a member of the genocidal paramilitary formations of the Serbians living in Bosnia (VRS). He said that, on July 13, 1995, he took the Bratunac-Konjevic polje "road" several times and he saw captured Bosnian civilians.

"There were about 30 captives on a meadow in Sandici. I did not stop or talk to anyone. Later on I went in that direction again and I saw many captives walking in columns and I heard calls for surrender," the witness said, adding that he also took the same road on his way to Zvornik in the evening of that day.

"All I saw were soldiers and captives. I did not see anything special in the Agricultural Cooperative in Kravica. I did not stop there," Nikolic said, explaining that his "associate", who had been in Kravica, told him about the crime committed in Kravica the following day.

Answering Defence attorneys' questions, Nikolic said that his "associates from Kravica" told him that four members of his paramilitary unit were in the eastern Bosnian village of Kravica when the crime was committed.

Prosecutor Ibro Bulic asked the witness if Milovan Matic was one of the four soldiers. Nikolic answered affirmatively, describing him as "a rather fat man with a beard".

Serbian war criminals Milovan Matic, Milos Stupar, Milenko Trifunovic, Petar Mitrovic, Brane Dzinic, Aleksandar Radovanovic, Slobodan Jakovljevic, Branislav Medan, Velibor Maksimovic, Dragisa Zivanovic and Miladin Stevanovic are charged with the mass murder of more than 1,000 Bosnian civilians in Kravica on July 13, 1995,during the Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

The trial of 11 Serbian war criminals is due to continue before the Bosnian State Court on February 21.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 8,2008) – The Bosnian Central Election Commission, based on the review report, reached a decision on issuance of certificates for the rest six candidates who fulfill the conditions for minister, or deputy minister positions in the Bosnian government.

Certificates were issued to Slobodan Puhalac, Igor Crnadak, Marina Pendes, Senad Sepic, Fuad Kasumovic and Sven Alkalaj.

In case of Senad Sepic, due to reasonable doubt, a conclusion for the initiating the procedure over a possible conflict of interest was issued.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 8,2008) – In all primary and secondary schools in Bosnia on February 11 a monitoring shall begin which purpose is to register all schools which did not change its inappropriate names or symbols according to the temporary Agreement on compliance with the rights and needs of returnee children regarding the criteria for school names, school symbols and events which was adopted in 2004.

These activities are regulated in the project “Monitoring and analysis of the criteria implementation for school names and symbols” and are implemented by NGO Foundation of Local Democracy from Sarajevo in cooperation with NGOs “Women Association” from Banja Luka, “Terca”, Mostar and “Vesta” from Tuzla.

The project is supported by the Bosnian Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees, department ministries, Education sector of Brcko District and cantonal department ministries. They envisaged it as a form of support for the return and integration of returnees in order to secure for the children to fit in as easier as possible in the new or old environment and enable the schooling for all children under the same conditions. The project is financed by European Union.

Monitoring shall last six months and it would consist of taking photographs of schools markings and symbols, as well as opening a web page with full data related to the changes of disputed school names in Bosnia.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 8,2008) - Amnesty International presented a report in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo about the state of prisons in Bosnia and the treatment of inmates. According to their report, the country’s prisoners are subject to beating and abuse, but nobody is dealing with these cases, or the fact that their rights are being violated.

Bosnia is signatory to all the relevant international conventions, but officers beating prisoners has turned out to be quite a normal and usual practice in prisons, the activists warn.

The interviewed inmates said treatment was the worst in solitaries. Amnesty International wants the Bosnian authorities to immediately appoint prison inspectors.