Friday, April 4, 2008


BUCHAREST, Romania (April 4,2008) - NATO invited Bosnia yesterday at a summit in Bucharest,Romania, to start an Intensified Dialogue with the military alliance.

"There is agreement to invite Bosnia and Montenegro to begin an Intensified Dialogue on a full range of political, military, financial and security issues relating to their aspirations," NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer told a news conference after meeting with leaders of the 26 NATO members.

The Intensified Dialogue is a stage before the Membership Action Plan (MAP), the gateway leading to NATO membership in five to ten years for an aspirant.

On the same day, the summit formally invited two other southeastern European countries - Croatia and Albania to join the alliance.

Eastward expansion of NATO has been strongly opposed by Russia, which has seen the moves as a threat to its security.

Russia could not stop the military bloc from absorbing Balkan nations as members, but the rejection to start the Membership Action Plan (MAP) for Ukraine and Georgia by the summit has been regarded by observers as Moscow's victory.

Russia has warned that NATO membership for the two former Soviet republics would bring instability, even war in the region.

Despite a strong push from U.S. President Bush, the countries failed to embark on the road to accession as Germany and France, backed by some smaller nations, fear that the move would irritate Russia.

Russia could not feel relaxed as NATO leaders decided to leave the issue to a meeting of their foreign ministers in December 2008,saying in a declaration that the two nations will be NATO members some day.

Aspirant Macedonia was left out because of a name dispute with Greece, which vetoed its invitation. The biggest-ever NATO summit which started Wednesday will end today.


BUCHAREST, Romania (April 4,2008) – The Bosnian President Haris Silajdzic met yesterday in Bucharest,Romania, with the President of Croatia Stjepan Mesic.President Silajdzic stated that Bosnia expects a formal confirmation of efforts made in the reform processes at the Summit. In that sense, he emphasized the country expects the opening of so-called Intensive dialogue phase which would open the possibility for Bosnia to become a country participating at the fulltime Membership Action Plan (MAP).

The two high officials also talked about bilateral relations between Bosnia and Croatia, as well as about promotion of cooperation.

They also talked about the Inter-State council and emphasized that the date of the Council’s session should be determined.

Also, President Silajdzic visited the Bosnian Embassy in Bucharest and was welcomed by the Bosnian Ambassador to Romania Branko Neskovic.

The Bosnian Foreign Affairs Minister Sven Alkalaj, the Bosnian Defense Minister Selmo Cikotic and the Bosnian Ambassador at NATO Nikola Radovanovic are also members of the Bosnian delegation at the NATO summit in Bucharest.

The Bosnian state delegation, led by President Silajdzic, also attended a reception organized by the Romanian Prime Minister Calin Tariceanu.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 4,2008) - The Defence attorneys of Serbian war criminal Milos Stupar announced a possibility of conducting the cross-examination of Serbian war criminal Ljubomir Borovcanin, although he has so far refused to testify before the Bosnian State Court at the trial of eleven Serbian war criminal charged with the genocide committed during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

The Bosnian State Prosecution considers that the eleven Serbian war criminals are responsible for the mass murder of more than 1,000 Bosnian civilians in the warehouse of the Agricultural Cooperative in Kravica village. The indictment alleges that the mass murder was committed by the genocidal Serbian aggressor after the fall of Srebrenica, on July 13, 1995.

Serbian war criminal Ljubomir Borovcanin, former member of the genocidal paramilitary formations of the Serbians living in Bosnia, is charged, together with six other Serbian war criminals, with the genocide committed in the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica. He is currently being tried by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague,the Netherlands.

After the Bosnian State Prosecution presented, as evidence, the statements given by Serbian war criminal Ljubomir Borovcanin to The Hague Prosecution in 2002, the Defence asked to cross-examine him.

Serbian war criminal Milos Stupar's Defence attorneys, Ozrenka Jaksic and Radivoje Lazarevic said that they were in contact with his Defence attorney and that they "expected to receive a positive response" next week.

The Trial Chamber believes Serbian war criminal Ljubomir Borovcanin might testify before the Bosnian State Court on April 23.

At the hearing held on April 2, the Defence teams cross-examined Jean Rene Ruez, ICTY investigator, via video link. In an earlier phase of the trial, the Trial Chamber admitted, as Prosecution evidence, a statement he gave at the trial of Serbian war criminal Vidoje Blagojevic conducted before the Hague Tribunal in 2003.

Serbian war criminal Vidoje Blagojevic was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for "helping and supporting the Srebrenica genocide".

Ruez said that, in July 1995 he took statements from Bosnian civilians who were forced by the genocidal Serbian aggressor to leave Srebrenica. He said that he derived all pieces of information concerning the events at Srebrenica primarily from those statements.

"Our task was to undertake a reconstruction of events on the basis of statements given by genocide survivors and to find the crime scenes described by those persons. It was necessary to discover those locations and the places where victims had been buried, and also to identify the perpetrators of those horrific crimes," Ruez said.

The witness described how "blood traces, body parts and bones" were found in the warehouse in the eastern Bosnian village of Kravica. He added that a DNA analysis was not performed in order to determined if those remnants match the body remains discovered in the mass graves in the Srebrenica area.

"I am very sorry for that, as I think that this would have provided the Prosecution with many pieces of evidence," the investigator said.

Ruez also said that he did not know if the Bosnian civilians were ordered to leave Srebrenica but the persons to whom he spoke told him that they "decided to leave on their own."

"The level of animosity between the people in the enclave and its surroundings was so high that these people could know that their destiny would be bad should they be captured by the Serbian army. This is why they decided to leave Srebrenica," Ruez responded to the Prosecutor's additional examination.

At the next hearing, scheduled for April 16, the convicted Serbian war criminal Radislav Krstic, who was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment, is due to appear before the Bosnian State Court as Defence witness.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 4,2008) - Douglas Davidson, Head of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Mission to Bosnia, said yesterday that helping Bosnia develop true democratic governance, which necessarily includes a free press, an independent judiciary, and an active civil society, as well as an embedded respect for human rights and the rule of law, continues to form the core of Mission’s work.

“I believe that this organization can and will continue to help Bosnia become a state composed of citizens enjoying equality under the law and equal political, civil, economic, and social rights in a multinational and multi-confessional democratic polity. The creation of such a state requires continuing attention to the development of representative-democratic and market-economic institutions,” he stated in a report discussed yesterday by the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna,Austria.

In this report, however, he also pointed out that: “These goals, are, however, not easy to reach, for they require genuine commitment not just among political leaders but also among all the people of the country.”

Ambassador Davidson raised concerns in his report as well about the future of the freedom of the press in Bosnia, noting that “the same division that exists in society increasingly marks the mass media in the country.”

He added that “the individual organs of the Bosnian mass media, perhaps naturally, tend to represent the interests of a single ethic group or even of a single political party representing that ethic group, which leads to less-than-panoramic reporting on the issues of the day”.

He also observed that the establishment of justice is crucial to the maintenance of peace: “The creation of a state court for the prosecution of serious offences against international law has been among the most significant single steps taken in recent years. Unfortunately, the development of support structures lags behind.”

Ambassador Davidson also noted that encouraging and assisting Bosnia’s disparate systems of education to promote a sense of common “stateness” as well as a greater tolerance for and understanding of the differences of others remained one of his Mission’s central endeavours.

He added, however, that this is proving to be one of its more difficult tasks as well, for, as with mass media, “this is because the divides in education exactly mirror the divides in the political life in the country”.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 4,2008) - A study on Bosnia's energy sector was presented in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo this week. The study worth 1.5 million Bosnian Marks was coordinated by the Bosnian Ministry of Foreign Trade and carried out by the Croatian Hrvoje Pozar Institute.

Goran Granic, the institute’s director - said yesterday how electricity export is both a political and economic issue that needs to be dealt equally by governments and investors, but before that Bosnia needs to unify her power generation market, harmonize laws internally and with the EU, and carry out international commitments responsibly.

Whereas the building of facilities and its pace are a political decision, the selection of investors should be left to the economy, Granic said. The study was funded by a World Bank loan.