Monday, May 19, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (May 19,2008) - The Bosnian Football Association has fired coach Meho Kodro after he refused to take charge of a friendly against Iran scheduled for May 26.

"Kodro was sacked because he refused to coach the team for the friendly with Iran," the association’s spokeswoman, Slavica Pecikoza, said.

Bosnian football officials arranged the friendly for May 26 without Kodro’s approval. He then refused to take part in it.

"We had no choice but to sack Kodro and it was a unanimous decision," said the Bosnian Football Association's executive board member Hamdija Abdic, who stepped down after Kodro's dismissal.

"It is obvious that we can't carry on running the Bosnian Football Association like this and I have asked the entire executive board and the presidency to resign too," Abdic said.

The NFSBIH scrapped a friendly against Euro 2008 qualifiers Poland on May 26 in favour of arranging a match with Iran in Tehran, contrary to the Bosnian National Football Team Coach Meho Kodro's wishes.

The body then called off the fixture and Kodro's assistant Elvir Bolic described its acts as "ridiculous."

"This is yet another farce premeditated by individuals who will take Bosnian football nowhere," he said.

Youth team coach Denijal Piric has been named in temporary charge and his first game will be a home friendly against Azerbaijan in Zenica on June 1.The match with Iran meanwhile, has been cancelled and will be played at a later date.


SARAJEVO. Bosnia (May 19,2008) - The International Community's High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak said in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo that the key open political issue in Bosnia concerns political divisions about the way the country should function, and asserted that the issue needs to be solved because the next month Bosnia will enter a serious stage of the European integration process.

"It is important that we reach a political agreement which will clearly define who is doing what in the process," Lajcak said.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (May,19,2008) – The Bosnian State Court will pass verdict in the case against Serbian war criminal Zeljko Lelek, indicted of crimes against humanity,committed during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

Defence presented the closing on Friday, asking the Bosnian State Court to find Serbian war criminal Lelek not guilty.

Defense attorney, stated that the indictment did not prove that Lelek committed the crimes mentioned in the indictment. Because of that, he proposed that the defendant is found not guilty.

The defense is of the opinion that the prosecution presented no valid evidence that Lelek committed murder, torture and rape in the area of the eastern Bosnian town of Visegrad in the period of April, May and June of 1992 and that the witnesses’ statements were contradictory and inconvincible.

Serbian war criminal Zeljko Lelek stated to have committed not a single criminal offense and that he apologized to the genocide victims on his and on behalf of his people for crimes committed.

Serbian war criminal Zeljko Lelek said that the Bosnian State Prosecutor had tried to link him with Serbian war criminals Milan and Sredoje Lukic. He added to have been in a constant fight with the two.

He made clear that he and Serbian war criminal Milan Lukic have never been on good terms, before or after the war. He emphasized that Serbian war criminal Milan Lukic threatened him with death for helping Bosnian civilians during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor’s Office representatives also held closing in the case. They proposed Serbian war criminal Zeljko Lelek to be found guilty on all items of the indictment and that he is sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment.

According to the indictment, Serbian war criminal Zeljko Lelek participated in 1992, in the period of April, May and June, in murder, torture and rape, in the time of a broad and systematic attack of the genocidal Serbian aggressor's formations against the Bosnian population in Visegrad.

In early 1992, Serbian war criminal Zeljko Lelek, together withSerbian war criminal Milan Lukic, raped a Bosnian woman, insulting her also on national and religious basis. The indictment also states that this Bosnian woman was raped by the Serbian war criminals on the daily basis and physically and mentally molested, in the following ten days.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor’s Office emphasized that Serbian war criminal Zeljko Lelek did nothing to prevent the crimes. On the contrary, he personally participated in them.

Serbian war criminal Zeljko Lelek has been imprisoned by the Bosnian authorities since May 5,2006.


BRUSSELS, Belgium (May,19,2008) - The European Union (EU) has earmarked around 50 million Euros for the restoration of 26 cultural heritage projects in the southeastern Europe as part of the EU efforts to integrate the region more deeply with the EU.

The money will be spent from 2008-10 on restoring archaeological sites in Bosnia, Albania, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia.

Ján Figel, the European commissioner for education and culture, said that investing in cultural projects in the region should help to “build bridges between the various ethnic and religious communities within and throughout the countries of the region”.

The Commission has said it will cover the costs of one project in each country in the region.

Funding for the remainder of the projects will come from national governments and private investment.

The Commission hopes the 26 projects will foster reconciliation, cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, but it also selected the sites based on their potential to generate spin-off investments into, for example, infrastructure for tourism.


KIEV, Ukraine (May,19,2008) - The Bosnian Foreign Affairs Minister Sven Alkalaj has announced in Kiev,Ukraine, where the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Annual Meeting and Business Forum is taking place, that Bosnia could get EUR 250 million Euros from the EBRD by 2011, which would be the highest per-capita sum ever given to a country by this bank.

Minister Alkalaj said that 180 million Euros of that money is expected this year, for the construction of the Vc Corridor. EBRD’s Board of Governors is expected to make a decision in November.

The remaining 70 million Euros will be invested in the banking system and the energy sector, the Bosnian Foreign Affairs Minister Sven Alkalaj said.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (May,19,2008) - Bosnia's Prime Minister Nikola Spiric has left for New York, where he will, among other things, inform the UN Security Council about the political situation in Bosnia.

he will address the UN Security Council today and then UN Ambassadors from the European Union.

On the following day, Spiric will participate in a debate on the post-conflict building of piece. Spiric will also have a number of bilateral meetings with the UN officials.