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BosNet NEWS / Apr. 26, 1996

From: Nermin Zukic <n6zukic@SMS.BUSINESS.UWO.CA>

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory

From: Nermin Zukic <n6zukic@SMS.BUSINESS.UWO.CA>

Subject: BosNet NEWS / Apr. 26, 1996


CONTENTS

  • [01] ICTY's SECRET indictments

  • [02] DECISION ON ELECTIONS IN JUNE

  • [03] SLOVENIA STARTS TO RETURN REFUGEES TO B-H

  • [04] "THE LAW OF STRONGER GOVERNS IN MOSTAR"

  • [05] ELECTIONS MIGHT LEGALIZE ETHNIC CLEANSING

  • [06] EU IS PLANNING TO FOUND INDEPENDENT TV IN B-H

  • [07] RESTRICTING FREEDOM OF MEDIA IN CROATIA

  • [08] IMPOSE SANCTIONS AGAINST FRY

  • [09] "11 BOSNIAKS DETAINED UNDER INHUMAN CONDITIONS"


  • [01] ICTY's SECRET indictments

    The Yugoslav war crimes tribunal confirmed Tuesday that it has issued secret indictments. Tribunal spokesman Christian Chartier declined to reveal the identities: "They have been forwarded to the appropriate authorities for implementation, but so far we have not heard anything back..."

    As reasons for keeping the indictments secret, Chartier suggested witness security and the location of suspects.

    The court's rules allow for a judge to order non-disclosure of an indictment "if satisfied that the making of such an order is required to ... protect confidential information obtained by the prosecutor, or is otherwise in the interests of justice." The indictments must be revealed once suspects are arrested.

    Lawyers for Dusan Tadic suggested that some witnesses may not come to The Hague to testify because they fear their names may be on the secret wanted list. Tadic is accused of murder, torture and rape in the nationalist Bosnia Serb Omarska prison camp. Tribunal's prosecutor Grant Niemann stated however that "it would be inappropriate and unseemly for the tribunal to allow potential suspects or accused to use the tribunal's rules to avoid criminal liability."

    U.S. Adm. Leighton Smith, said Tuesday the IFOR's military mission is not over: "It is not over, there are literally thousands of kilometers (miles) of roads to patrol, there are over 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) of former confrontation lines to continue to patrol. We still have a lot of work on verifying compliance, and then maintenance of compliance with Dayton..."

    Adm. Smith suggested that his troops are overburdened with various requests, including that of protecting war-crimes investigators, arrests of indicted war criminals Karadzic and Mladic, and facilitating refugees' movement.

    "Even while I was in The Hague last week, Judge Richard Goldstone came up to me and said, 'Sure there is more I would like you to do for us, I'd like you to clear mines and other things but I understand what your limitations are,' and that is about the nicest thing he could have said to me," said Smith. Goldstone is head of the International War Crimes Tribunal.

    Discussing the recent incident in Otoka, commander Gen. Michael Walker said: "We are absolutely clear... There is a mandate within Dayton for us to ensure the freedom of movement for those who want to go home... Otoka was different because we believe the circumstances were deliberately orchestrated to cause conflict between the two groups..."

    "All speculation that Iranians are present in Bosnia-Herzegovina ... either in police or military forces, are ridiculous - and are aimed at undermining peace," said Hasan Muratovic, Bosnian Prime Minister while in Bonn, Germany, attending a meeting of leaders of Bosno-Croat federation.

    "We have offered many times to any international commission to search every square inch of our country for armed Iranians or other foreign soldiers forbidden by the Dayton peace accord... If any are found, the Bosnian government will work with NATO-led peace-enforcers to throw them out of the country..." Muratovic said.

    The New York Times, quoting unidentified sources in Zagreb, reported recently that the Bosnian government had dispatched Iranian-trained commando units to kill or capture enemies, but Croatian security sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, stated they have no evidence to confirm published reports.

    Five armed Bosnians were recently detained in Croatian town of Senj, in connection with alleged plan to murder Fikret Abdic. The former Western Bosnia warlord was closely tied to the Croatian leadership, and plans to run in upcoming elections.

    Croatian security sources said earlier this month that arrested four Bosnians arrested in Croatia all carried documents from the Bosnian Interior Ministry in Bihac, where Abdic is bitterly hated. One of the arrested men was with the Bosnian government's Agency for Investigation and Documentation, which answers to Izetbegovic, and other three were employees of the Bosnian Interior Ministry. A woman who was traveling with the group has been identified as the girlfriend of one of the would-be assassins, and is likely to be a witness for the prosecution, the sources said.

    [02] DECISION ON ELECTIONS IN JUNE

    Mostar, April 25,1996 (Press TWRA)

    "More than 3 million voters have been registered for the elections scheduled for the September. The election list will be based on the 1991 census, and will be sent to all countries where the refugees from B-H are situated. All individuals accused for war crimes will not be allowed to candidate for the B-H elections", stated on the press conference of Mostar regional OSCE office director W. Odendhal. The regional office in Mostar has authority over the elections in three cantons: Neretva, West Herzegovina and Central Bosnia. 3O election's instructors will work in that area, informed Odendhal. Relating to voting technics the refugees will be able to vote in two ways: on election points in home municipalities or through mail. The election points abroad will be denoted later and the refugees votes will be transported to B-H through OSCE which will prevent possible manipulations. Odendhal emphasized that decision weather the elections will be held in September, will be reached in June. By June it will be clear weather all conditions essential for holding the elections will be fulfilled: freedom of movement, press, and specially, freedom of movement. The B-H elections will cost about 3O million dollars. (end) S.K.

    [03] SLOVENIA STARTS TO RETURN REFUGEES TO B-H

    Ljubljana, April 25,1996 (Press TWRA)

    Slovenian Government intends to start sending the remaining refugees back to B-H. The return of the refugees will last until the end of the next year, reported Radio Slovenia. At present 15 OOO refugees are still living in Slovenia. Before the final return Slovenian Government will enable refugees to visit first the areas in where they lived before the war. The possibility to prolong the stay in Slovenia will have invalids, old people and students which attend Slovenian universities. (end) S.K.

    [04] "THE LAW OF STRONGER GOVERNS IN MOSTAR"

    Strasbourg, April 26, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    Hans Koschnik, Former EU Administrator to Mostar, talked yesterday at the session of the European Council Parliamentarian Assembly on which the implementation of the Dayton accord was discussed. He pointed out Mostar was not appointed as a seat of EU just by chance for it presents "an apple of discord between Croats and Muslims". "The law of stronger governs in Mostar, in order to make the other side give up from its rights. Such is the case with Croats in Mostar and Muslims in Central Bosnia", Koschnik said. "Mentality of barricades is still alive on both sides. Besides the fact that a political solution for Mostar has been found out in Rome, Croatian leaders in the town did not want a unification", Koschnik said, adding these were, however, individuals not a whole people. "These are individuals supported by armed groups which aim to link with Croatia and not to stay within the Federation. " (end) S.K.

    [05] ELECTIONS MIGHT LEGALIZE ETHNIC CLEANSING

    Sarajevo, April 25, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    Temporary elections commission, composed of all three ethnic groups' representatives, and chaired by the US diplomat Frowick, published a document entitled "Rules & Regulations of the Elections in B-H". The rules include codex of behaviour for political parties, candidates and the elections' activists, as well as goverments' obligations toward (of Bosnia and its two entities - the Federation & Republic of Srpska) the media in B-H. Before being registered by the elections commission, parties and candidates must confirm that they accept the codex and the elections' results. The governments are obligated to allow total freedom of movement to the journalists, who must not be subjected to any sanctions due to their work. Licenses and frequencies given to the media must not be limited by the political criterion. Mr. Frowick thinks that there are no conditions for such elections as of now, announcing the attempt to create them till the 14th of September, which is the final dead-line for the elections to take place.

    The coming elections in B-H will be the most complicated in the history, of a kind never before seen anywhere. They will actually include several elections in the same time on different levels: of municipality, canton, entity and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The proportional system will be used in the elections for House of Representatives of the B-H Federation, the People Assembly of Srpska, parliament of B-H, and municipalities' councils. Political parties and independent candidates will be able to run the elections. Presidency of Srpska and the Serb entity representative to the B-H Presidency will be elected by the majority votes at direct elections in Republic of Srpska. The Bosniak & Croat representatives to the BH Presidency will be elected, each by his ethnic group, by majority vote in the Federation.

    The main problem is to define the exact elections' list for about two million people who left their homes, and decision where they should vote. According to the published rules there is possibility for them to vote in their current residence. The Bosniak representative Kasim Begi5 is afraid that it will legalize the ethnic cleansing, demanding the postponement of the elections until the refugees return to their homes is ensured by the peace forces. The Srpska authorities accept the current regulation, hoping that it will legitimate them, helping R. of Srpska to secede from B-H and be annected by FR of Yugoslavia. (end) A.S.

    [06] EU IS PLANNING TO FOUND INDEPENDENT TV IN B-H

    Sarajevo, April 24, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    After yesterday's session of the PIC (Peace Implementation Council's) managing board, the EU High Representative C. Bildt called on the both entities' governments to ensure free access to the state media for all political parties, adding the implementation of the request will be observed by a special body.

    Bildt repeated the idea on the independent TV-network in B-H, so to allow all the political positions to be expressed. The network would cover whole Bosnia, and IFOR would be, if necessary, asked to help the project's implementation. The Government of BH will be demanded a frequency for the TV, and such an authorization is expected early in May. Bildt also stressed that Republic of Srpska, by refusing to participate the donators' conference in Brussels, put itself in isolation, what could hardly affect the Serb people. He also described efforts of KaradWi5 & Mladi5 to keep their posts as unacceptable.

    Diplomatic source claim that Bildt's independent TV has uncertain destiny, as it has been to expensive even for the Soros foundation (Open Society) which rejected to finance it. (end) A.S.

    [07] RESTRICTING FREEDOM OF MEDIA IN CROATIA

    Zagreb, Apr 23, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    Today' Zagreb daily "Vjesnik" for the first time after several years of being published in usual size, was issued in a large size, the result of its new editor in chief Nenad Ivankovi5's decision. Ivankovi5 sacked 15 journalists among them Franjo Kiseljak, an experienced reporter from Croatian parliament whose work was criticized by some members o the ruling HDZ. Further purge is expected in the papers in which last year Ante Ivkovic replaced Kre\imir Fija^ko who increased selling of the paper. Benevolent to HDZ, till then unknown journalist, was very critical towards the opposition and independent media and authorities of the neighbouring B-H. N. Ivankovi5, who as a correspondent from Germany, (like A. Ivkovi5, now Croatian cultural attache in Sofia) was known for his criticism of Sarajevo and Croatian opposition, is believed to intensify the trend. When the opposition leader M. Veselica in the TV program in live warned that Ivankovi5 once wrote in bad manner about Croat nationalists and human rights supporters and Catholic church, Croatian TV excused Ivankovi5 due "to the insult", president Tudjman received him, too. After Croatian customs tried to impose enormously high fines (several mill. of DEM) on the only independent daily "Novi list" left, issued in Rijeka, over 30,000 citizens (20% residents) and 8,000 more in the surrounding settlements signed the petition against it. Editors of "Novi l." accuse Hrvoje harini5, president Tudjman's closest associate of the campaign against the paper. Last year harini5 failed in to impose alternative "Novi list." Some associations, among them Croatian PEN Center protested against the Law on information by which HDZ tries to legalize the persecution of media "insulting state high officials" and those who "disclose state secrets". HDZ high official V. heks, creator of the law, whose expulsion from PE.N.was announced ,accused the Center of "anarchism". "Reporters without borders" in the letter to Croatia's president protested against the law but he, along with other similar appeals, ignored the letter. (end) A.S.

    [08] IMPOSE SANCTIONS AGAINST FRY

    Strasbourg, April 25, 1996 (Press TWRA)

    President of the International Tribunal in The Hague A. Cassese today demanded imposing of sanctions against Bosnian Serbs because they refuse to cooperate with the Tribunal. "FRY categorically refuses to fulfill the demands described on international Tribunal's warrants and the positions of Republic of Srpska is for condemnation even more because Kara-i5 and Mladi5 are holding official posts. The Hague Tribunal issued 12O warrants, and none of the accused have been arrested yet. "It is very important that High Representative for implementation of civil part of Dayton Accord C. Bildt reconsider the imposing of sanctions against FRY and Republic Srpska if the situation remains the same in the nearest future. In contrary The Hague Tribunal will look like paper tiger - toothless and impotent", stated Cassese at the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly. (end) S.K.

    [09] "11 BOSNIAKS DETAINED UNDER INHUMAN CONDITIONS"

    Sarajevo, April 25,1996 (Press TWRA)

    "Bosnian Serbs keep 11 Muslims detained on Pale under inhuman conditions, denying them food and medical care", stated International police forces' spokesman in Sarajevo. The members of international police forces who work in B-H as part of UN mission discovered the violation of basic rights during the visit to the prisoners located in the sport hall on Pale. The policeman protested at local police authorities, but the police commander stated that that is not his responsibility but Red Crosses. The group of 11 detained Bosniaks is waiting for Tribunal decision on weather there are grounds for the accusations for war crimes they allegedly committed and Serbian authorities accused them off. (end) S.K.

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