Wednesday, May 14, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (May 14,2008) - "It is quite certain that the date of signing the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) between Bosnia and the EU would be June 16, and there is no need to speculate about the date any more", the International Community's High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak said yesterday in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, urging for a shift of focus to the demanding work that follows afterwards.

Lajcak also said how there is no concern within the international community about a political crisis breaking out ahead of local elections.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (May 14,2008) - A member of the Bosnian State Presidency Željko Komšić met yesterday with Matthew Rycroft, the Ambassador of Great Britain to Bosnia.In a long and open conversation, they talked about the internal and political situation in Bosnia, its path to the European Union and the situation in the region,the Bosnian State Presidency said in a press release.

Great Britain supports Bosnia on its path to the European integration and wants it to sign the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union – said Ambassador Rycroft during yesterday’s meeting.

Bosnian Presidency Member Komšić said he believes that it would be better if Bosnia would sign the Agreement on June 16, because the Agreement should be translated into all languages that are used in the European Union, as well as into the Bosnian language.

He added that one of the most important strategic goals of Bosnia was to become an EU and NATO member.Komšić also said that Bosnia still needs a strong and active international community’s presence.

During the meeting, they also talked about the Bosnian constitutional reform, and on that occasion, Bosnian Presidency Member Željko Komšić said that it was necessary to review the Bosnian Constitution, however, at this moment, there is not enough of political will to do it.

He added that the “April package” of constitutional amendments had represented a good chance for Bosnia, however, that is a “closed book” for Bosnia at this moment.

At the end of the meeting, they concluded that the EU path of Bosnia was the road without any alternative, and Great Britain strongly supports Bosnia on that way.


OSWIECIM, Poland (May 14,2008) - The Bosnian President’s Advisor for Constitutional and Legal Affairs Dr Damir Arnaut is visiting Oświęcim (German: Auschwitz),Poland, this week as a participant of the Conference on Genocide Prevention upon invitation of Raphael Lemkin Center for Genocide,the Bosnian State Presidency announced.

Besides Bosnia , following states are attending the Conference: the United States of America, Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Finland, China, Cambodia, Burundi and Argentina.

During the last night’s interview at the Polish television, Dr Arnaut underlined the need to focus the attention on eliminating the genocide results as a key strategy for genocide prevention.

Recalling that throughout the history of genocide cases – only the German Nazi regime failed to enjoy in the results of their criminal endeavors,Arnaut stated that one could easily conclude that the genocide crime pays off because only certain persons suffer the consequences, while their projects remain. Such strategy, he added, is not enough for thwarting future genocide planners, especially considering the fact that state institutions’ participation is always needed for genocide, because they are willing to sacrifice several individuals in their lines for their macro-projects.

During the second day of the Conference, academic experts from the genocide and genocide prevention field addressed the participants. Particularly educating address was of Dr Barbara Harff, a professor at the US Naval Academy, who was focused, among else, on the genocide in Bosnia and she presented the results of her work pointing at the number of over 225.000 persons killed during the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia.

Amela Tirić, an associate at the Cabinet of the Bosnian President is also attending the Conference.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (May 14,2008) - The retrial of the convicted Serbian war criminal Marko Samardzija before the Bosnian State Court for war crimes committed in Kljuc municipality,during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia, has started yesterday with the reading of the indictment and listening to statements given by three witnesses.

The Bosnian State Court announced a first instance verdict against Serbian war criminal Marko Samardzija, sentencing him to 26 years imprisonment but the Appellate Chamber revoked the verdict, "partially upholding the appeals filed by the indictee and his Defence attorney," and ordered a retrial.

Serbian war criminal Marko Samardzija is charged, as a member of the genocidal paramilitary fascist formations of the Serbians living in Bosnia (VRS), with having participated in war crimes in Kljuc municipality, by deporting and murdering a large number of Bosnian civilians from Brkic and Balagica Brdo hamlets.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor did not present its introductory arguments, saying that its arguments presented at the first instance trial were still valid. The Defence also stated that its earlier arguments were valid, but it added that "most of the facts contained in the factual description in the indictment do not refer to Serbian Marko Samardzija".

Three statements given by witnesses in the course of the first instance trial were heard before the Appellate Chamber.

At the audio recording, which was played in the courtroom, Prosecution witness Mujo Canjic said that he saw Serbian war criminal Marko Samardzija when Biljani village residents were taken by the genocidal Serbian aggressor to Jezerine hill and that the indictee told the 57 persons to form two lines by the edge of an empty lake basin.

"He told us to take our keys, knives and other things out of our pockets, as we would not need them any more. Marko also told us that we would be taken to the school building," said Canjic.

The indictment alleges that most Bosnian civilians detained by the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor were taken to the school and murdered. The bodies of most of them were found in Laniste mass grave.

The statement given by Semso Dzaferovic was also heard in the courtroom. He said that, while he was in the school on July 10, 1992, his brother, sister and her daughter, and his wife and two children, one of whom was a four-month old baby, were murderd by the genocidal Serbian aggressor.

"I did not see Marko Samardzija on July 10, 1992," the witness said.

In his statement given to the first instance Chamber, third Prosecution witness Ferid Avdic said that he was 16 in 1992.

"On July 10, 1992 I was detained in the school building, together with my brother and Cehici and Dzaferagici hamlets residents, for a very short time. I saw Marko in front of the school and it seemed to me that he was an authoritative person, as some soldiers were gathered around him," Avdic said.

The retrial of Serbian war criminal Marko Samardzija is due to continue before the Bosnian State Court on May 16.


ZAGREB, Croatia (May 14,2008) - Members of the Joint Committee on European Integration of the Bosnian State Parliament paid a three-day official visit to the Board of European Integration of the Croatian State Parliament. The visit was supported by the OSCE Mission to Bosnia.

During the visit, members of the Joint Committee on European Integration of the Bosnian State Parliament met with several Croatian officials: Neven Mimica, Chair of the Board of European Integration, Vesna Pusic, Chair of the National Board for Monitoring of Negotiations with EU, Milorad Pupovac Chair of the Board for Inter-parliamentary Cooperation and Zeljko Kupresak, State Secretary for European Integration, OSCE said.

Halid Genjac, Chairman of the Joint Committee on European Integration of the Bosnian State Parliament, expressed gratitude to the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and European Integration Committee of the Croatian State Parliament for organising the visit, stating that this is the chance for the Joint Committee on European Integration of the Bosnian Parliament to get acquainted with the experiences of the European Integration Committee of the Croatian Parliament and these experiences are valuable in future work of the Joint Commission, since Croatia has a candidate-status for the membership to the EU.

Neven Mimica, Chairman of the European Integration Committee of the Croatian Parliament emphasised that political consensus on the common goal of joining the EU should be realised in Bosnia through implementing political criteria, where the roles of this Commission and the Bosnian State Parliament as a whole will be manifested.

Bosnia is currently in the situation to start soon with the implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) within the achieved political consensus.


ALGIERS, Algeria (May 14,2008) – A first business conference between Bosnia and Algeria was held yesterday in the capital of Algeria.The conference was organised by the Bosnian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Representatives of 40 Bosnian companies and 60 Algerian companies attended the conference. Officials of the Algerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Algerian Investment Agency, the Bosnian Chamber of Foreign Trade and the Bosnian Foreign Investment Promotion Agency (FIPA) also participated in the conference.

During the conference a double taxation agreement was initialled by the Bosnian Deputy Finance Minister Fuad Kasumovic and the general director for tax issues with the Algerian Finance Ministry. This is the first such agreement that Algeria has with Bosnia.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (May 14,2008) – The European Union (EU) is very concerned with the growth of public spending in Bosnia resulting from salary increases at all levels of administration, the Bosnian Deputy Finance Minister Fuad Kasumovic has warned.

The main precondition for solving this problem is forming the national fiscal council, he said, urging for more responsibility in the use of public funds.

“The state of Bosnia is like one family. If each member of the family takes as much as he likes, the whole family will soon face financial problems”, Kasumovic concluded.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (May 14,2008) – The Bosnian Minister of Security Tarik Sadovic and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Representative in Bosnia Naveed Hussain have signed a project on help to the Ministry and the Immigration Centre.

The project is continuation of good cooperation between the Bosnian Ministry of Security and UNHCR. The project will help the foreign citizens situated in the Immigration Centre, and will also provide help to the Ministry’s capacities in the sector.

Signatories announced joint activities in the project of construction of new immigration centre as well as in project of moving of the refugees to the third countries, Minister Sadovic’s Cabinet announced.