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Main News Summary
Wednesday, 11 August 2004

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Source

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Narrative

EUFOR

Glas Srpske

MSU remains in BiH

"The Multinational Specialised Unit (MSU) will stay in BiH even when the European Union takes over the mission from NATO at the end of the year, in order to continue securing a stable and safe environment and provide assistance to the local law-enforcement bodies," reads a press release issued by HQ SFOR yesterday. This unit is an integral part of SFOR and was first deployed in BiH on 2 August 1998. Considering that the MSU is equipped for conducting many police and military tasks, it filled the gap that existed between SFOR as a military force and units that are of a purely police character. SFOR's press release states that the MSU is made up of military police forces that perform different tasks, including suppressing riots. It consists of 600 soldiers from Austria, Hungary, Italy, Romania and Slovenia. (p.3)

SFOR

Oslobodjenje

Beginning of 'Summer Harvest 2004'

On Tuesday, members of the RSMUP and the RS Civil Defense supported by SFOR began with an extensive operation of collecting hidden illegal weapons in the western part of the RS. The action titled "Summer Harvest 2004" is to be conducted in the area of Banja Luka, Prijedor, Novi Grad/Bosanski Novi and Kotor-Varos. The objective of the action planned to last at least two weeks, is the improvement of the security situation in the RS and BiH. (p.5)

SFOR

Oslobodjenje

Independent and efficient actions of BiH police

On Tuesday at a press-conference in Sarajevo, the EUPM spokesperson, Kirsten Haupt, stated that "the EUPM assessed as encouraging the fact that BiH local police have intensified their cooperation with SFOR during the "Harvest operation." Haupt also stated "it is evident that BiH police is more and more taking over the initiative and organizing their own operations of collecting illegal weapons". As an example Haupt mentioned a recent action conducted by the Una-Sana police that had organized its own 'Harvest' with SFOR support, as well as activities of the Central Bosnia police that filed 15 criminal reports against citizens for illegal possession of arms. Haupt announced that a series of similar operations will be conducted in BiH this week, among them, a " summer harvest" in the western part of the RS where the police, supported by SFOR, will be collecting arms in several locations. However, Haupt underlined that "in the past few weeks we have witnessed a significant number of incidents involving different types of firearms across BiH. Almost daily fire arms are used in the streets with tragic consequences. In spite of the successful "Harvest operations" conducted so far by SFOR, there are still too many weapons and explosives left in private possession." (p.4) Similar in Nezavisne Novine (p.10)

SFOR

Oslobodjenje

International Course for Inspectors General

"On Monday at the SFOR Camp Butmir in Sarajevo, Colonel-General Paul Mikolashek, opened a seven day International course for inspectors general that is organized for members of the Armed Forces in BiH, entity armed forces and defense ministries. "This course is designed to offer information on how the system of inspectors general functions in the US Army, and respectively to help BiH state and entity armed forces with the establishment of their own systems," stated Mark Hope, SFOR spokesperson. According to Hope, the first part of the course is intended for BiH defense ministers and army generals, while the rest of the week is dedicated to training and briefings of the inspectors general at entity and state levels. Hope remarked that at the opening ceremony, General Virgil Packett, the SFOR Commander, welcomed the participants of the course (p.7) Similar in Dnevni Avaz (p.2)

SFOR

Oslobodjenje

SFOR allows Pejcic contact with his wife and his lawyer

On Tuesday at a press conference in Sarajevo, SFOR spokesperson, Mark Hope, confirmed that "SFOR allowed Mile Pejcic a contact with his spouse and lawyer". Pejcic was detained by SFOR on 31 July on suspicion that he was engaged in anti-Dayton activities and providing assistance to PIFWICs. "Pejcic continues to be in a secure location, while the investigation into his activities continues," said Hope adding that "SFOR makes sure that every detention is carried out by law and that all detainees are given a correct treatment." (p.8) Nezavisne Novine quotes SFOR maj. Aaron Jenkins as sating at a press-conference in Doboj that "Pejcic continues to be in a secure location due to an ongoing investigation" (p.4)

SFOR

Oslobodjenje

SFOR will not conduct investigations against persons in possession of illegal arms

On Tuesday in Prijedor, Maj. Phil Stanford, stated announced that "in the course of the 'Harvest operation', SFOR will not conduct investigations against persons who are hiding illegal weapons and neither will such persons stand any consequences." Maj. Stanford said that the action of discovering illegal weapons and explosive ordinances will last several weeks, and that trained dogs will be employed in the operation as well, but only in places where the circumstances allow. Maj. Stanford informed that on Monday the inhabitants of Lamovita handed over a certain quantity of explosive ordnance that, due to their condition had to be destroyed on the spot. Maj. Stanford appealed on citizens who possess any weapons, and particularly mine and explosive ordnance, to call in trained professionals instead of handling them themselves. (p.2)

BIH - ECONOMY

Oslobodjenje

EU will invest 600,000 euro into BiH tourist industry

The European Union has ensured 600,000 Euro of non-returnable funds to support the development of BiH tourism, as part of the CARDS 2002/EU RED program for assistance to the BiH regional development. In this respect, the EU delegation has published a tender for collection of bids for tourist projects that are eligible for EU funding. The funds will be spent on strengthening and development of the tourist industry and promotion of cultural and natural heritage, as well s on creation of new jobs. (p.3)

BIH - ELECTIONS

Nezavisne Novine

BiH Election Commission verifies lists of candidates for municipal elections

As the BiH Election Commission stated, the printing of the election ballots for October 2004 municipal elections started yesterday at the Sarajevo CPU Publishing Company , which was warded the job in a public tender. This is the first time that BiH election ballots were printed in the country. Lidija Korac, members of the Election Commission said that printing of ballots for 13 RS municipalities, whose names should be changed following the decision of the BiH Constitutional Court on change of the prefix "Serb",. was put on hold until the Commission receives instruction from the Constitutional Court as to how they should proceed in this case since the names and organization of electoral units had been determined earlier on. Korac also informed the public that the Election Commission has made a final verification of all candidacy lists, even though some of the institutions that were obliged to deliver answers on their candidates, have not done that so far. (p.2) Similar in Dnevni List (p.2), Jutarnje Novine (p.4) and Dnevni Avaz (p.8)

BIH - PARTIES

Nezavisne Novine

BiH SDU: RS authorities should be punished

"The BiH Social Democratic Union asks international institutions to punish those responsible in the RS authorities for non-cooperation with the Hague Tribunal," said Miro Lazovic, President of the SDU, in Sarajevo yesterday. The SDU also asks RS democratic forces to start processes that will remove the burden of the past from the Serb people, and individualize and punish criminal acts. "The recent opening of several mass graves in the RS, especially the biggest one in Foca/Srbinje, has once again uncovered Slobodan Milosevic's political idea of creating a Greater Serbia and its criminal scenario planned together with the then SDS leadership," stated Miro Lazovic in an SDU press release. (p.4)/The same in Jutarnje Novine (p.3)/

BIH - PARTIES

Glas Srpske

PDP: Lagumdzija takes off his mask

"The President of the Social Democratic Party, Zlatko Lagumdzija, has shown once again his hypocrisy through his latest attacks on the Party of Democratic Progress and its leader," the PDP stated yesterday. "Lagumdzija's reaction to the announcement that the PDP will ask that the constitutionality of the name 'Bosnian language' be assessed, clearly shows how much this, somewhat worn-out, politician is far from being tolerant," reads a press release issued by the party yesterday. Concerning these events, the PDP asks Lagumdzija why he failed to react when SDA members asked that everything that had the Serb prefix and name be abolished and erased. "To the PDP, that is an unequivocal sign that Lagumdzija has taken off and shown his true face which is identical to that of Tihic. It is now obvious that Lagumdzija's political goal, just as Tihic's, is BiH without the Republika Srpska, the Serbs and all their symbols," states the PDP. (p.2)/The same in Nezavisne Novine (p.6)/

BIH - PRESIDENCY

Dnevni avaz

Decision on deployment of BiH troops in Iraq should be reviewed

In addition to the petition which the Social Democratic Union of BiH organized the other day, some other political parties also reacted to the decision of the BiH Presidency on sedning a BiH de-mining company to Iraq. The SDA Vice-president, Elmir Jahic, holds that the decision should be reviewed one more time in light of the aggravated situation in Iraq: "The BiH Presidency had the best of intentions to help the people of Iraq and save human lives by sending a de-mining team to the country. However, this represents a great risk since further development of the situation in Iraq is unpredictable." Safet Halilovic from the Party for BiH, points out the fact that the sending BiH troops to Iraq should be done in accordance with the UN decision. Halilovic approves the petition commenting: "Such a complex political issue does not allow a unilateral approach. At the moment we have an ongoing reform of the BiH defense system with the essential objective of creating one single and unified army, and it would be absurd if we tried to play an international police officer elsewhere in the world, while we have not managed to resolve our problems at home." Halilovic holds that fear of potential terrorist diversions in BiH was justified, and wonders what would happen if any BiH soldiers are killed in Iraq. Joisp Merdzo, head of the HDZ Caucus, underlines that the BiH de-mining company engaged in Iraq would have a humanitarian and not a classical military character, but he did not deny the fact that US occupation of Iraq has raised many complex political questions. Nikola Spiric, member of the Main Board of the Union of Independent Social Democrats, thinks that the BiH Presidency should have first made a legal basis for the mission: "The state top should not try to deceive the local and international public that it sincerely cooperates in the fight against international terrorism. It would be better if this decision had not come as a result of the will of a number of individuals. Unfortunately, the BiH leadership would only contemplate the consequences once they have taken place." Mirnes Ajanovic, President of the BOSS, was the first party to publicly oppose sending of BiH Troops to Iraq: "If potential terrorist threats are realized in BiH, this will be then characterized as Bosnian-Islamic fundamentalism, and that is the core of the problem. It is unimportant if our troops are sent on a humanitarian mission or as part of the support to the aggression on Iraq. Whatever the case, it will have double negative consequences for BiH citizens, one being an aggravated security situation and the other, possible economic repercussions." (cover page and p.2)

CRIME

Nezavisne Novine

RS Prosecutor's Office investigates Milenko Vracar

On the order of the RS Prosecutor's Office, the RS police have been investigating into the activities of Milenko Vracar, the former director of Nova Banjalucka Banka, and Ljiljana Tesic, the former executive director of this bank, because they are suspected of abusing their positions and powers. According to the paper, on 3 August the District Court in Banja Luka ordered the RS police to confiscate certain documents from Nova Banjalucka Banka and stated at the time that "the suspects, Milenko Vracar and Ljiljana Tesic, have the right to inform their attorneys first". This same order, which was signed by Judge Danijela Milovanovic, says that it was issued because "there is reason to suspect that the criminal offence of abuse of position and powers was committed". Nezavisne Novine unofficially learned that two days ago the RS police confiscated from the bank the documentation related to the bank's guarantees given for the contract signed by the Oil Refinery in Brod and the Galaxy Company in Monte Carlo, which was concluded when Vracar headed the bank. Suspicions about this contract were first publicly aired in the letter that RS President Cavic sent to RS Premier Mikerevic in February this year, asking him to open an investigation into this case. Milenko Vracar, who was the finance minister in Mladen Ivanic's government, was dismissed from this post after the scandal in the RS Customs Administration. Afterwards, Vracar was appointed as Director of Nova Banjalucka Banka and was later dismissed because his name was included on the EU and US black lists. (Photo on p.3)

CRIME

Nezavisne Novine

Turkovic, Ibrahimovic, Kobilic and Grladinovic deny any connection with bomb attacks

In the Municipal Court in Sarajevo yesterday, Zijad Turkovic (40), Bakir Ibrahimovic (40) and Senad Kobilic (44), all three from Sarajevo, accused of having endangered public safety, pleaded not guilty. Antun Grladinovic from Croatia, the third accused of the same criminal offences, also pleaded not guilty, but from the Kosevo Hospital where he has been ever since the explosion in the settlement of Hrasno in Sarajevo. Since they all denied all the counts of the indictments issued by the Cantonal Prosecutor's Office on 16 July, their trials will be scheduled in the next three months. (Photo on p.4)

EXHUMATIONS

Oslobodjenje

Velibor Ostojic moves at nighttime only

Velibor Ostojic, one of the founders of the SDS, a senior RS wartime official and a postwar Minister for refugees and Displaced Persons "is practically in flight. He is nowhere to be seen and moves only at night, like an animal trying to cover up its trail", state the families of the killed Bosniacs from Foca. The list of the responsible criminals does not however end on Ostojic, but contains the names of Vojislav Maksimovic. Petko Cancar, Leko Vukovic, Milos Krunic, Nedjo Govedarica, Miro Stannic, Pavle Elez, Pero Elez, Mico Orlovic and so on. Even though some of the "death masters" are said to have died or been killed in the meantime, many of them are still large, and even holding prominet public offices, thus defying both the victims and the justice. Even the Chief ICTY Prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte seems to have no interest in them whatsoever. (cover page, p.7)

EXHUMATIONS

Nezavisne Novine

Most victims suspected to be civilians from Vukovar

Yesterday, the Judge of the Zenica-Doboj Court and a member of the FBiH Commission for Tracing Missing persons, Enisa Adrovic, stated that the exhumations that has been ongoing for 14 days in Sijekovac near Srpski/Bosanski Brod, have rendered 58 victims so far, out of which 18 children. Adrovic explained that the location was initially assigned to the Federal Commission due to suspicion that a number of Bosniac victims were buried in the location which is actually a Bosniac graveyard. However, the number of exhumed bodies indicates that the victims were mostly Serb civilians." According to Judge Adrovic, certain objects, like a children T-shirt, remains of a belt, buttons, spectacles and similar personal belongings were found on the eight bodies that were first discovered in one grave, while the remaining 49 bodies had no clothes on or other evidence that could reveal their identity. Goran Krcmar, a member of the RS Office for Missing Persons said that the first unerathed bodies confirm the thesis on Serb vicitims since in this region there was only one report on a missing Bosniac minor. The District Prosecutor of Doboj, Slavko Krulj, who is monitoring the exhumation, also assumes that "the bodies must be of Serb children from Vukovar, because there are no reports of missing children in the BiH or the RS." According to him, the "Veritas" organization "is looking for 22 Serb children that went missing in the Vukovar hopsital in 1992. At the time when this mass grave originated, the area of Sijekovac was controled by the armed forces of the Republic of Croatia, which is one more proof to the thesis". And while neither Croatian nor SCG representatives from the respective Office for Missing Persons were present at the exhumation, the RS monitors have suspicion of the illegal trade with human organs as "the victims were buried naked, no clothes but just the bones were found." However, this would be hard to prove after such a long time. (p.5)

ICTY

Dnevni avaz

HDZ President Barisa Colak: We have not yet found any document required by the ICTY

HDZ President Barisa Colak told Dnevni avaz that none of the documents that the Hague Tribunal Office of the Prosecutor had asked for from BiH Croat officials had been found. These documents concern the work of the HDZ branch offices, Herceg-Bosna's government and parliament and the HVO. "Co-operation between Croat representatives in the BiH authorities and the ICTY is not questionable. This week we have already tried to locate the required documents and even though we have been unsuccessful so far, we will do everything to meet this ICTY request," said Colak. However, that will be rather difficult, as part of the documentation was destroyed in the war, another part was destroyed in the floods during 1996 and 1997, the audio-recordings from some HDZ branch sessions are missing, and a part is in Croatia. According to unofficial information, the delivery of the required documents to the ICTY is a main precondition for provisional release of the six officials of so-called Herceg-Bosna and the HVO. (Photo on p.5)

ICTY

Oslobodjenje

Luka Karadzic: My brother Radovan is in good health

Luka Karadzic, Hague indictee Radovan Karadzic's brother, denied the information that his brother Radovan had had a stroke. Luka Karadzic told Dan in Podgorica that the news about his brother's illness was only a provocation, meant to coax out information about Radovan's whereabouts. The media in Sarajevo reported that Karadzic had suffered a severe stroke and that he was being treated by a "select medical team from Serbia". (Photo on p.9)/The same in Jutarnje Novine (p.3), Glas Srpske (p.3), Politika (p.2), Slobodna Dalmacija (p.12)/

POLICE/SBS

Nezavisne Novine

Through co-operation against terrorism and crime

In Podgorica yesterday, the police directors of Serbia, Montenegro, BiH, Albania and UNMIK signed a joint statement stating that they would intensify their co-operation in the fight against all forms of crime. "Aware that terrorism and organized crime pose a threat to the rule of law, democratic processes and human rights and freedoms, we think that we must intensify our co-operation as regards the detection, prevention and disruption of criminal networks and terrorist activities. We must exchange information and organize joint operations with the support of the international community," reads the joint statement, which also emphasizes that the Olympic Games in Athens are a particular security challenge and task for all police structures in the region. The participants of the Podgorica conference agreed to hold similar conferences quarterly, and that the next one be held in Albania. (p.2)/The same in Dnevni avaz (p.4), Dnevni List (p.3)/

PROTEST

Dnevni avaz

BiH Prime Minister promises enactment of Law on Customs tariff

The Association of BiH Farmers and the BiH Association of Poultry and Meat Producers, stated that they will not participate in the announced protests and road blocks because they expect to see a positive outcome of the meeting scheduled for 16 August with the BiH Prime Minister, Adnan Terzic, who has already given them assurances that the Amending Law on Customs Tariff will come in effect on 17 August. (p.2)

TERRORISM

Oslobodjenje

Western services scan the Balkans in serach of Al-Qaida: Master-mind of terrorist attacks on US was in BiH?

According to the United Press International, the network of intelligence agents searching for Al-Qaida terrorists keeps spreading throughout the world. In BiH foreign intelligence is focused on 700 fighters who arrived in BiH during the war under the pretext that they had come to fight Serbs, while in fact, they were running terrorist training camps. This was also confirmed by the BiH State Prosecutor, Marinko Jurcevic, when an official investigation into some 750 Islamic fighters in BiH was opened. UPI reports that BiH local media had informed on earlier occasions about young Bosnian men leaving for Chechnya, Afghanistan and Iraq to fight on the side of Islamic militants. The western intelligence services In BiH have recently intensified their activities after a report was published indicating that Khalid Sheik Mohammed, considered to be the master-mind behind the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US, had been in BiH during the war. While State Prosecutor Jurcevic did not discount this possibility, he noticed that Sheik Mohammed must have been using a false name, as his name is not on the list of 750 Islamic fighters who were in BiH at one point or other. "If Sheik Mohammed was in BiH, he must have been passive, or otherwise, his activities would have been noticed and he would have been registered." (p.3)

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