Wednesday, April 9, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 9,2008) - The U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia Charles English said yesterday in Sarajevo that politicians in Bosnia should reach a compromise on crucial police reform.

“I hope that political leaders understand that Bosnia faces a critical choice; to accept compromise and open the path towards European Union integration, or to reject an agreement and choose isolation,” English told Bosnian daily Dnevni Avaz.

English stressed that a compromise was possible as current options differed only “in a few words.”

This statement comes ahead of the crucial vote, scheduled for Thursday, when the Bosnian Parliament will vote on two police reform laws, which remain the last condition for the continuation of the country’s EU accession process and speedy signing of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the bloc.

After months of difficult negotiations, Bosnia’s ruling parties remain divided over the police reform. The Party of Democratic Action, SDA, and the Social Democratic Party, SDP want greater centralisation of the police system.

Theoretically, two other major parties – the SBiH, and the SNSD – can put together a majority that will secure parliamentary adoption of the two laws. Yet they remain deadlocked in debate over last-minute amendments.

This deadlock has forced Bosnian Parliament to postpone its vote on the legislation last week.

Over the weekend, SDA president Sulejman Tihic said his party was convinced that Bosnia would be able to sign the SAA agreement even without the adoption of the police reform legislation.

This notion was tersely rejected by the International Community's High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak and the head of the European Commission mission in Bosnia, Dimitris Kurkulas.

In order to ensure the adoption of the crucial legislation, over the past few days Lajcak separately met Bosnia's political leaders, his office said in a statement.


SOFIA, Bulgaria (April 9,2008) – The Bosnian Deputy Minister of Security Mijo Kresic will participate today, April 9, at the regional meeting on disaster preparedness and prevention initiative in cooperation processes in the southeastern Europe.

The meeting will be held in the Bulgarian capital Sofia.

The government of Bulgaria is host to the meeting. Initiative’s Regional meeting will be held prior to this one; with participation of representatives of Bosnia, Albania, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia and Turkey.

The minister meeting is aimed to adopt and sign joint statements that will confirm determination of the countries signatories to cooperate in the sector of disaster management. Strengthening of cooperation with the EU Civil Protection Mechanism is also of a special significance.

The Bosnian Deputy Minister of Security Mijo Kresic will emphasize the importance of good regional cooperation and determination of Bosnia for taking its share of responsibility at local, regional and international plan in the case of all possible natural and other disasters.

Experience of a quality regional cooperation will especially be emphasized. That cooperation was best seen last year, when Bosnia was almost devastated by wild fires, especially in the regions at the borders with Croatia. Joint fire department units of Bosnia and Croatia fought the fires and overcame all the critical situations.

At margins of the meeting, the Bosnian Deputy Minister of Security Mijo Kresic will hold bilateral meetings with the Bulgarian and Greek Ministers of Security.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 9,2008) – The Bosnian State Court issued a decision yesterday ordering Serbian war criminal Vaso Todorović into one-month custody. Pursuant to the Decision, custody may last until 7 May 2008. Vaso Todorović is suspected of the criminal offense of Genocide.

In its motion for custody, the Bosnian Prosecutor’s Office submits that there is grounded suspicion that Serbian war criminal Vaso Todorović, as a member of the genocidal paramilitary formations of the Serbians living in Bosnia, during the period from 10 July 1995 to 19 July 1995,during the Serbian aggression against Bosnia, together with other Serbian aggressor's soldiers, participated in criminal act of genocide against Bosnian civilians within the UN protected zone of the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica.

Further, the Bosnian State Prosecutor’s motion alleges that Serbian war criminal Vaso Todorović together with other participants of joint criminal action, on 12 July and 13 July 1995 secured the road by closing and opening the same one for traffic, according to the plan of forced relocation of around 25 thousand of Bosnian women, children and elderly persons.

On 13 July 1995 Serbian war criminal Vaso Todorović as alleged in the Prosecution Motion,together with other Serbian aggressor's soldiers, detained thousands of Bosnian civilians, whereby they separated 20 and 30 of them and put them on trucks and took them away wherefrom they disappeared without trace.

The Prosecutor’s motion further submits that Serbian war criminal Vaso Todorović together with other members of the genocidal Serbian aggressor's formations escorted and detained more than a thousand Bosnian civilians.They were detained in the Farming Cooperative Kravica and mass murdered by the genocidal Serbian aggressor on July 13,1995, in early evening hours.

Having inspected the evidence submitted, the Bosnian State Court concluded that there was grounded suspicion that Serbian war criminal Vaso Todorović had committed the criminal offence of Genocide.

Considering the criminal offense Serbian war criminal Vaso Todorović is suspected of, the Bosnian State Court ordered custody for the reason of public and property security.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 9,2008) - Following the session of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) Main Board on Saturday, there have been suggestions that the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between Bosnia and the European Union could be signed without adoption of the police reform legislation. In response to these claims, the International Community's High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajčák underlined that the EU expects police reform legislation to be adopted by the Bosnian State Parliament for the SAA to be signed.

Lajčák emphasised that the broader international community has supported the EU’s approach, calling for police reform legislation in line with the Mostar Declaration and the subsequent Action Plan to be adopted as a matter of urgency.

"Anyone who claims that the SAA can be signed in the near future while the adoption of postponement of police reform legislation is postponed is simply misleading the public," Lajcak said.

“EU integration is Bosnia’s most important strategic objective. Ordinary people want to see development, closer social and business ties with the EU, they want the visa regime liberalized,” he said.

Lajcak also reminded those who questioned the existence of the entities that the Peace Implementation Council reaffirmed that the Bosnian Constitution recognizes that Bosnia consists of two entities and that Bosniacs, Croats and Serbs are constituent peoples.

The international community remains committed to the principles on which the General Framework Agreement for Peace is founded,Lajcak concluded.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 9,2008) – Thirteen senior Bosnian officials are being investigated for possible corruption linked to the restructuring of the country's power sector, prosecutors said yesterday.

Thirteen officials, including the premier and energy ministers of the FBIH entity - Nedzad Brankovic and Vahid Heco respectively - are suspected of the "abuse of office in making decisions pertaining exclusively to the power sector," Sarajevo cantonal prosecutors said in a statement.

Brankovic, Heco and 11 other officials are suspected of "violating the legal procedure to sign a contract with a strategic partner in a way to favor some bidders and grant them huge financial gains," it said without elaborating.

Bosnian media previously accused the FBIH entity government of picking Austrian consortium APET as a partner to build four hydro-electric power plants through an irregular tender procedure.

APET, which comprises several big companies including Alstom SA, Parr and Alpine Mayreder, was selected in 2006.

However, a formal contract has never been signed since the FBIH entity government plans for the power sector restructuring failed the win parliament's approval.

APET offered 800 million Euros for preparations, equipment and participation in the building of the four plants.The effort is only part of a wider plan for the Bosnian power sector restructuring.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 9,2008) – Technical preparation of the project for the development of the Bosnian state data base of stolen vehicles is undergoing and its completion is expected by the end of April, as it was announced by the Bosnian Ministry of Security.

Division and sectioned data in entity data bases until now have been reasons for mistakes and delays in data input and international searches and checkups in the process of vehicle registration.

Setup of the state data base on stolen vehicles is undoubtedly a significant step in the fight against automobile theft crime.

Entity internal ministries and Brcko District police agreed for their data bases to be joined into ASF Interpol base and to be automatically updated.

Due to inexistence of one state data base on stolen vehicles, Interpol office in Bosnia which is part of the Ministry of Security in March 2007 initiated within the project “Push and Pull” of the international organization of criminal police - Interpol, to form a state data base on stolen vehicles.

All police agencies shall have access to this base and to check the status of suspicious vehicles in Bosnia and world wide.