Main News Summary
Friday, 18 June 2004

SFOR
Slobodna Bosna
General Packett, this is the house of Ljuban Ecim, Karadzic's logistic officer
SFOR has so far tried in vain several times to detain Ljuban Ecim, a former Deputy Chief of the Banja Luka State Security Office and a former Chief of Security of Zeljko Raznjatovic Arkan. He is included on the EU and US black list on suspicion that he is assisting PIFWICs. Ecim is also linked to fund-raising for Radovan Karadzic and other activities related to the network supporting this war criminal. Several months ago, SFOR carried out a search of Ecim's parents' house from where he had moved years ago. For the information of SFOR and the RS police, who allegedly cannot find him, Ecim is living in a private house in the Jablan settlement in Banja Luka, where he is regularly visited by senior SDS officials. His private house is very well secured, and has a special video surveillance. (Photo on page 12)
SFOR
Oslobodjenje
Some 22 candidates approved by SFOR
It has been reported by the BiH Ministry of Defense that 22 of a total of 33 candidates proposed for generals' posts in the BiH defense system have been approved by HQ SFOR. The vetting process of Lt. Gen. Cvjetko Savic by the HR for BiH has not been completed because Savic was removed from the post of the Chief of the VRS General Staff. To recap, brigadiers Selmo Cikotic, Jasmin Saric, Goran Medic and Haris Saric were discharged from service at the request of SFOR after the vetting process. HQ SFOR is conducting an additional vetting of the remaining six officers, who will continue carrying out their regular duties until the final results are published, but will not be proposed as candidates for generals' posts. On the basis of SFOR approvals, further procedures to appoint candidates for specific positions have been successively initiated. After approvals by the BiH Parliamentary Assembly, the BiH Presidency appointed the following officers to generals' posts: Brigadier Rizvo Pleho as the Inspector General, Col. Miladin Milojcic as the Deputy Chief of the BiH Joint Staff for Resources, Col. Mirko Tepsic as the Deputy Commander of the BiH Operational Command for Operations, and Brigadier Sakib Foric as the Deputy Commander of the BiH Operational Command for Resources. The proposal by the BiH Presidency to appoint Brigadier Sifet Podzic as the Chief of the BiH Joint Staff, Brigadier Slavko Puljic as the Deputy Chief of the BiH Joint Staff for Operations, and Brigadier Vlado Dzoic as the Commander of the BiH Operational Command is currently in a parliamentary procedure. Also, before this, the BiH Ministry of Defense sent a proposal to the BiH Presidency to appoint Maj. Gen. Novak Djukic as the Chief of the General Staff, and Maj. Gen. Stamenko Novakovic as the Commander of the 15th VRS Mechanized Brigade. On Thursday, the BiH Ministry of Defense sent a new proposal to the VF to appoint the following officers to generals' posts in the VF: Brigadier Hajrudin Grabovica as the Commander of the VF Joint Command, Col. Jugoslav Brdar as the Deputy Commander of the VF Joint Command, Brigadier Mirsad Gutic as the Commander of the 1st VF Armored-Mechanized Brigade and Col. Ante Jelic as the Commander of the 2nd VF Mechanized Brigade. (Photo on page 5) /The same in Jutarnje Novine (p. 3)/
SFOR
Oslobodjenje
Candidates approved
HQ SFOR gave approvals for the following officers: Major General Stamenko Novakovic, Major General Novak Djukic, brigadiers Sakib Foric and Rizvo Pleho, Brigadier Dzevad Radjo, Colonel Miladin Milojcic, colonels Dragos Milankovic, Mirko Tepsic, Dragan Stupar, Slavko Puljic, Vlado Dzoic, Sifet Podzic, Robert Susec, colonels Milan Pavlak, Jugoslav Brdar, Marko Stojcic, Anto Jelec, and brigadiers Hajrudin Grabovica, Esad Sejtanic, Nisad Balta, Mirsad Gutic and Emir Redzovic. (p. 4) /The same in Jutarnje Novine (p. 3)/
SFOR
Oslobodjenje
SFOR has no information about terrorist activities in Mostar
SFOR spokesperson, Mark Hope, said that SFOR had no evidence of any possible terrorist activities going on in Mostar. "We do not have any strong evidence of any terrorist activities going on in BiH or of any kind of camp for training terrorists here. If we receive this information, we will react in accordance with the global campaign against terrorism," said Hope. (Photo on page 10)
SFOR
Dnevni avaz
Malkic bans disposal of SFOR's waste
Abdurahman Malkic, Srebrenica Mayor, stated yesterday that he had temporarily banned SFOR vehicles from transporting waste from Connor Base to the dump in the area of Kazani in the Srebrenica municipality. He made this decision because of worried citizens who suspect that this waste could pose a threat to the health of the local population. (Photo on page 8)
SFOR
Glas Srpske
After SFOR left Udarnik's garage near Mrkonjic Grad, Udarnik company has never been in a more difficult position
On 21 June, SFOR is supposed to hand over the garage of the Udarnik shipping company that it used rent free from 1995 until November 2002 to this company. It started paying rent only after November 2002. However, the company refuses to accept the garage in its present condition because SFOR left behind damaged facilities and equipment in this garage which is about 5,000 square meters in size. As this company is in debt, it will make 92 of its workers redundant and keep only 12 workers. (Photo on page 4)
AF IN BIH
Dnevni List
NHI: Professionals removed from the VF, "Croat self-rulers" supported
The New Croat Initiative (NHI) party has reacted to the BiH Presidency's proposals that Brigadier Slavko Puljic be appointed as Deputy Chief of the BiH Armed Forces Joint Staff for Operations, and Brigadier Vlado Dzoic as Commander of the BiH AF Operational Command, by saying that their appointment would be "anti-Constitutional". A press statement by the party reads that "through a miraculous combination, honourable and true professionals, such as generals Dudakovic, Zeko, Sesar, Martic and Brigadier Totic, have been removed from the command personnel of the Federation Army, and those who openly backed the project of Croat self-rule have been supported. (p.5)
AF IN BIH
Dnevni List
Minister Nikolic violates rights of retired HVO members
The central headquarters for protection of retired HVO members in the Western Herzegovina and the Herzegovina-Neretva Cantons has sent an open letter to Federation Defence Minister Miroslav Nikolic. The letter states that retired HVO members are enraged with Nikolic's violation of the law. The HVO members in question were retired by the civilian commander's decision and were issued decisions on retirement by the Ministry of Defence. According to them, Minister Nikolic has denied their well-deserved rights by an unlawful decision that denied them right to a pension. Retired HVO members warn Minister Nikolic that he has wilfully erased seven years of service for each HVO member, and thus denied their right to a pension that they all had earned. (Photo on p.2)/The same in Slobodna Dalmacija (p.18), Vecernji List (p.4)/
AF IN BIH
Dnevni avaz
Hajrudin Grabovica a new VF JC Commander
Yesterday, the BiH Ministry of Defence sent new proposals for the appointment to generals' posts in the Federation Army. A Defence Ministry press release reads that Brigadier Hajrudin Grabovica has been proposed for the position of Commander of the Federation Army Joint Command, and Colonel Jugoslav Brdar for the position of Deputy Commander of the VF Joint Command. Brigadier Mirsad Gutic has been proposed for the position of Commander of the 1st Armoured Mechanised Brigade, and Colonel Ante Jelec for Commander of the 2nd Mechanised Brigade of the Federation Army. (p.3)
AF IN BIH
Dnevni avaz
Redundant soldiers to receive salaries for another nine months
Having in mind the difficult financial situation in the Federation Army, at its meeting yesterday the Federation Government made a more favourable decision for redundant VF members. Instead of dismissing 5,000 surplus soldiers with severance pay of KM 6,000, the Defence Ministry will keep them in service for another nine months. In that way, the redundant soldiers will receive their salaries for nine more months, and then they will lose their jobs. (Photo on p.3)/The same in Oslobodjenje (p.8)
BIH - PARTIES
Nezavisne Novine
By calling on Karadzic to turn himself in, Kalinic is saving his neck
SDA Vice President Elmir Jahic says that Kalinic's message to Karadzic that he should surrender is logical, since RS authorities have not fulfilled their obligation towards the Hague Tribunal to arrest him. "The RS was legally obliged to extradite Karadzic. Considering that the authorities have not done anything since 1996 to bring him to justice, Kalinic's call is quite logical," says Jahic. He added that sanctions against the RS and those RS officials responsible are "unavoidable if they fail to transfer Karadzic to The Hague" and if BiH fails to join the Partnership for Peace programme. Igor Radojicic, SNSD General Secretary, says that Kalinic has tried to save his neck by sending this message to Karadzic, and that sanctions against the RS and its people would be counter-productive. (Photo on p.4)
BIH - USA
Dnevni avaz
Adnan Terzic, Chair of the BiH Council of Ministers: Waiting on the road towards joining Europe is dangerous (Front page story)
When asked about what he expected if BiH did not join the PfP, Adnan Terzic, Chair of the BiH Council of Ministers, said: "The HR will react to this, and he will make decisions, which is good and important, but this will destabilize the RS and the Council of Ministers. I expect a crisis in my work, which is something I do not need. There is a sufficient number of politicians in BiH who need an unstable atmosphere in order to work. Perhaps their time is coming," Terzic told journalists onboard a plane from Washington. Terzic said that the US supported reforms carried out by the BiH Government, and that a BiH delegation managed to get Sulejman Tihic, Chair of the BiH Presidency, invited to the NATO summit in Istanbul to represent BiH as an observer. "Nothing will be known until one day before the summit in Istanbul," said Terzic. When asked about whether he expected removals in the BiH Government, Terzic said that he did not see any reason for removals, but that he could guess that there would be resignations. (Photo on page 1, 5)
BIH - USA
Dnevni avaz
Another hundred million dollars of support for BiH before the end of July
The World Bank will grant four loans of assistance to BiH worth 100 million dollars before the end of July, and the leadership of this institution and the International Monetary Fund will visit BiH in the coming months to agree on joint activities. The resources will be used to support reforms in public spending, retraining, the social sector and urban planning. (Photo on page 2)
CRIME
Slobodna Bosna
Genjac, Maktouf and Fazlic involved in an international espionage and crime network
Abduladhim Maktouf, the owner of the Palma company in Travnik, was arrested on 11 June in Sarajevo at the order of John McNair, a prosecutor in the BiH Prosecutor's Office Special Department for Organized Crime, Economic Crime and Corruption. The Prosecutor's Office has been investigating the business operations of the Palma company and Maktouf's connections to Travnik officials. According to unofficial information, the investigation will also over allegations about Maktouf's involvement in drug trafficking. Even though McNair has denied allegations that Maktouf is also a suspect in the case of Asim Fazlic, former Deputy Director of Interpol, there are reasons to believe that Fazlic had covered up Maktouf's illegal business operations. According to sources close to the BiH Prosecutor's Office, Mirsad Hodzic, former bodyguard of Halid Genjac, an SDA deputy in the BiH Parliament, has been questioned and he could be a key witness. This is a clear indication of the direction in which the investigation will go. Mustafa Beganovic, Besim Halilovic, Mirsad Granov and Halid Genjac are considered to deserve the most credit for the financial success of the Palma company. Also, Genjac used his influence in the BiH Embassy in Jordan to issue BiH passports to Maktouf's mother and brother so that they could come to BiH, even though they had no legal basis for these passports. (Photo on page 19)
CRIME
Slobodna Bosna
Who employed Salihi (Okic) with the Mostar Police?
The BiH Prosecutor's Office has tried to keep information about Ferid Salihi, also known as Ferid Okic, secret over the past two weeks. However, information that Salihi has been charged with "being the mastermind of the first organised crime group in BiH." Okic is suspected of being involved in trafficking of drugs, weapons and women. According to intelligence information, Salihi was a policeman in Kosovo as an undercover agent for secret services in Belgrade. In 1998, he escaped from Kosovo and moved to Mostar, where Safet Orucevic, the then Mostar Mayor, helped him find a job in the Mostar police. Later, he organised a criminal group in the Arizona market, near Tuzla. The BiH Prosecutor's Office has issued an arrest warrant for Haris Mehonic, who is suspected of acting together with Okic in organising the criminal group. (Photo on page 18)
CRIME
Slobodna Bosna
Sido Karic, the man who stole pensions
The BiH Prosecutor's Office has indicted Sido Karic and seven of his associates for tax evasion and other customs offences. Sido Karic, his wife Senida, Mehmed Salkic from Srebrenik, Amir Gusterovic, Eldar Malinic and Novalija Zukic, "acting as an organised criminal group," are suspected of committing tax evasion and customs offences, bribery and money laundering. Karic's company Sidoil is believed to have cost the Federation budget some KM 34.9 million. The investigation into the business operations of Sidoil is expected to show whether this company was involved in the financing of the network supporting Radovan Karadzic. (Photo on page 16)
HERZEGOVACKA BANKA
Dnevni List
Toby Robinson is lobbying for Mobilcom Austria (Teaser)
Sinisa Djuranovic, Director of the Corporation Sector for Regulatory Affairs of HT Zagreb and a member of Eronet's Management Board, has stated the following: "Robinson asked to be allowed access to Eronet's offices and documents in order to make it possible for Mobilkom Austria to have access to Eronet's confidential documents. It is my opinion that Eronet's management made it possible for a potential competitor to have Eronet's confidential documents, and Mobilkom Austria has on several occasions already expressed its interest in buying a license for the third GSM operator and in buying our competing operators. This would affect Eronet business operations and its owners. Therefore, Robinson is exactly the one who, by her tendentious behavior in favor of Mobilkom Austria, asked Eronet's management to act illegally. Do not forget that all of these attempts to hand over confidential documents to a possible competitor are taking place as the procedure of issuing a license is underway, on which the fate of Eronet depends. HT Mostar has informed all relevant institutions in BiH, the HR for BiH and the Federation Government about Toby Robinson's behavior." (Photo on page 1, 7)
ICTY
Oslobodjenje
One in 189 citizens suspected of war crimes (Front-page story)
Zlatko Miletic, Federation Police Director, recently said that one in 389 citizens is suspected of war crimes. Martin Raguz, the President of the BiH Court, and sources close to the Hague Tribunal have confirmed that there are thousands of reports against BiH citizens for their alleged involvement in war crimes, but it remains uncertain how many of them will end up before the Court. Miletic said that there were 2,000 reports against Federation BiH citizens, but added that the Hague Tribunal had approved indictments against 450 people. Sources also said that the Tribunal had approved indictments or requested additional information on 1,000 RS citizens. The BiH Court still cannot take over cases for war crimes. Raguz said that the Criminal Code would have to be changed in order to allow the BiH Court to use Hague Tribunal's judgments as evidence. In addition, international and local judges for war crimes cases have not been appointed yet. (Photo on the front page and page 5)
INTELLIGENCE SERVICES
Oslobodjenje
Kocsis supervisor for intelligence reform
Paddy Ashdown, has appointed Kalman Kocsis as Supervisor for intelligence reform, to assist with the implementation of reforms that have been agreed in this sector. Kocsis will monitor, advise and assist the BiH authorities in all aspects of the implementation of the law on the state intelligence service recently adopted and he will regularly report to the High Representative on the progress in implementing the law. (p.48-latest news) /The same in Jutarnje Novine (p.3)/
MOSTAR
Nezavisne Novine
Opening ceremony of Old Bridge to be secured by 1,200 policemen
Yesterday, representatives of the Federation and Hercegovina-Neretva Canton ministries of internal affairs, the SIPA and SBS agreed that approximately 1,200 policemen would provide security for the opening ceremony of the Old Bridge. (Photo on page 3)
MOSTAR
Dnevni avaz
Some 800 policemen will provide security for the opening ceremony of the Old Bridge in Mostar
Yesterday in Mostar, representatives of the Federation and Hercegovina-Neretva Canton ministries of internal affairs, the State Information and Protection Agency and the State Border Service met to discuss the information provided by Zlatko Miletic, Federation Police Director, that terrorist attacks could take place during the opening ceremony of the Old Bridge in Mostar. Dragan Vikic, the Commander of the Federation Special Police Force, said that between 600 and 800 policemen would be involved in securing the ceremony and the participants. Srecko Bosnjak, a spokesperson for the Hercegovina-Neretva Canton MUP, said that this ministry had no information about threats of terrorist attacks. (Photo on page 13) /The same in Jutarnje Novine (p.4), Dnevni List (p.3), Slobodan Dalmacija (p.22)/
NATO
Dnevni avaz
NATO and EU officials in Sarajevo: BiH at Istanbul Summit as observer
Yesterday in Sarajevo, Robert Serry, the NATO Secretary General's Special Envoy, and Pieter Feith, Special Envoy for the EU High Representative for Joint Foreign and Security Policy, held separate meetings with Paddy Ashdown and Adnan Terzic to discuss the upcoming Istanbul Summit and the transfer of authority between NATO and the EU. During these meetings, the importance of the arrest of war crimes suspects was discussed. Serry said that the progress achieved in the defence reform in BiH would be applauded at the summit. He also said that BiH could be admitted to the Partnership for Peace programme at any point, even if it is not admitted in Istanbul. "A number of NATO troops will remain in BiH even when the EU takes over from SFOR," Serry said. Feith urged the BiH authorities to speed up the establishment of the State Information and Protection Agency (SIPA), which would play an important role in the fight against organised crime. (Photo on page 2) /The same in Oslobodjenje (p.8), Dnevni List (p.3), Jutarnje Novine (p.4), Nezavisne Novine (p.3), Vecernji List (p.3)/
OHR
Dnevni avaz
Secret documents found in Banja Luka Police archives
Yesterday the RS Ministry of Internal Affairs responded to HR Ashdown's question concerning the hand-over of 16 boxes of documents to the ICTY Office in Banja Luka. It is expected that the documentation in the boxes can shed light on the events in Srebrenica. In its response, the RS Ministry of Internal Affairs states that while searching for the RS President's archives for the period from 1992 until 1998 at the ICTY's request, they ascertained that a part of the archives found had been transferred from Pale to the Banja Luka Public Security Centre. Having checked the archives of the Banja Luka Police Department, RS MUP officials established that the documentation found was not that of the entity's President, but that it covered the activities of the RS MUP for the same period. A press release issued by the RS MUP reads that a MUP Commission inspected part of the documentation on 10 June and then informed the ICTY Office in Banja Luka about it. The documentation was inspected between 10 and 16 June, and then handed over to Hague Tribunal representatives. RS MUP officials claim that the relevant documentation has not been checked in its entirety, therefore, it is hard to say whether it contains documents useful for the Srebrenica Commission. It says also that the final report of the Srebrenica Commission had been completed before this documentation was found. (Photo on p.3)/The same in Jutarnje Novine (p.3), Oslobodjenje (Photo on p.3)/
SREBRENICA
Dani
Smail Cekic, member of the Srebrenica Commission, witness to Serbs' admission of massacre in Srebrenica
Smail Cekic, a historian and Director of the Institute for the Investigation of Crimes Against Humanity and International Law, was the only Bosniac member of the RS Commission on Srebrenica, which has compiled and verified a report in which the crime committed in Podrinje has been called by its true name. In an interview with Dani, Cekic speaks about the work of the Commission and a historical step: the RS admission that the genocide occurred in Srebrenica. The Commission, more precisely its Serb members, was surely not in a hurry to name what happened in Srebrenica a crime. Nearly every word of the report was the subject of several hours' discussion between Smail Cekic and Gordon Bacon on one side and their Serb colleagues on the other. The two of them, Cekic in particular, were under huge pressure from the Serb members of the Commission, who from time to time seemed to be more eager to prevent certain information from being included in the report, than to establish the truth. About lack of co-operation on the part of RS institutions in compiling the first report that was not accepted, Cekic says: "In the work of the Commission, or better put in the attitude of RS bodies and institutions, there are two phases: the first phase from 12 January until 14 April when RS authorities were not co-operative in the least. On the contrary, they hampered the Commission in every way possible. After HR Ashdown's measures, RS institutions became more co-operative. When we talk about the documentation required by the Commission, I must say that the VRS and RS Defence Ministry made original documentation available to us, especially useful was the VRS HQ documentation covering the month of July." To the question of whether crimes in Srebrenica were planned or just happened, Cekic says: "The crux of the matter is that crimes were, unfortunately, planned with morbid perfection. The Krivaja-95 Operation, which was actually the taking of Srebrenica, was composed of three phases: taking the town, deportation of civilians from Potocari, and killing of men and boys fit for military service. Cekic calls the fact that the Serb members of the Commission signed the report a turning point, and says it is extremely important to him as a historian, because, Bosnian Serbs have now accepted and confirmed the fact that genocide was committed in Srebrenica. There was no dilemma about this among the Serb members; they signed the report and said that they wanted to make a distinction with Serbs who did not take part in the events in Srebrenica and who have no blood on their hands now". (Photo on p.15)
SREBRENICA
Oslobodjenje
European Court rejects a suit against US
The Mothers of Srebrenica and Podrinje citizens' association have filed lawsuits against BiH, Serbia and Montenegro, France, Great Britain, Holland and the US with the European Court in Strasbourg. However, Ibran Mustafic, President of the Administration Board of this Association, told Oslobodjenje that the Court has rejected the lawsuit against the United States. "The European Court informed us that it has no jurisdiction over non-European countries, and therefore it is not in a position to take the lawsuit against the US under consideration," says Mustafic. (Photo on p.3)
SREBRENICA
Oslobodjenje
RS Government adopts the Srebrenica Commission report
On 15 June, the RS Government Public Relations Office sent the following answer to questions posed by Oslobodjenje: "At a special session on 11 June 2004, the RS Government accepted a report compiled by the Commission for Investigation of the Events in and around Srebrenica from 11 until19 July 1995. None of the Ministers present voted against it or abstained from voting". (p.3)
SREBRENICA
Oslobodjenje
Srebrenica Commission report
These are excerpts from the final report on the events in Srebrenica: "The Commission has taken the historical context and factual state cited in the verdict 'Prosecutor vs. Radislav Krstic', by which the indicted person was sentenced for 'assisting and supporting genocide committed in Srebrenica'," reads the introductory part of the report. It further reads that the RS armed forces (army and police) started an attack on Srebrenica on 6 July 1995. "Late on 9 July, the VRS was already four kilometres deep inside the enclave, and stopped just one kilometre before Srebrenica. On 11 July, the VRS takes the town. Late that afternoon generals Ratko Mladic, Radislav Krstic and other officers took a walk along empty streets of Srebrenica, while a large number of civilians were moving towards Potocari, a village some five kilometres northwest from the town, hoping to be saved by the Dutch Battalion located there. By the night of 11 July 1995, between 20,000 and 25,000 exiles, mostly women, children and elderly, gathered in the UN base in Potocari. Several thousands people entered the base through the entrance made by cutting the fence on the side less visible to VRS soldiers and less exposed to combat activities. Others stayed in the vicinity, in factories and fields. There were at least 300 men in the base, and outside between 600 and 900 men 'fit for military service'. None of them was armed. Aware of the difficult situation they were in, the people gathered in Potocari asked members of the Dutch Battalion to help them out of 'this hell'." (Photo on p.7)