Archive for the month of October 2009

Dutch FM says Serbia should not yet apply for EU candidacy

Dutch foreign minister Maxime Verhagen said that the Netherlands continues to oppose implementation of the Stabilization and Association Agreement with Serbia. Serbia has not yet achieved full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Before that has been accomplished, Serbia should not apply for EU candidacy, he said.

Three former policemen arrested in Bosnia

Police in Bosnia have arrested three former Serb policemen suspected of genocide over the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. Bosnian TV identified the three as Dusko Jelic, Zoran Ilic, and Mendeljev Djuric.

Trial Karadzic resumed in his absence

With Karadzic absent for the second day of his hearing, ICTY proceeded and the prosecution started its opening statement. Presiding judge O-Gon Kwon said Karadzic risks council being appointed for him if his refusal to appear continues.

The prosecution focussed on four of the eleven charges:

  • The forceful removal of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina.
  • The shelling of Sarajevo.
  • The hostage taking of UN observers.
  • The organized killing and expulsion of Muslims in Srebrenica.

Macedonia, Kosovo established diplomatic relations

Macedonia and Kosovo established diplomatic relations after the two countries ratified a border pact October 23. It ends a dispute that started in 2001 when the former Yugoslavia and Macedonia drew their border. Ethnic Albanians in Kosovo — then still a Serbian province — then set up roadblocks and demanded more land.

Serbia — strongly opposing Kosovo's independence — denounced the agreement.

ICTY chief prosecutor Brammertz to evaluate Serbia's cooperation

ICTY chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz said he would evaluate Serbia's cooperation with the tribunal after a planned visit to Belgrade November 2 and 3. He will report his findings to the UN Security Council in November.

Brammertz said he believes that the two remaining war crimes suspects Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic are in Serbia. He also said that the condition imposed by the EU for Serbia to arrest the two should remain in place.

New talks with Bosnia, still no signs of progress

A new round of talks were held with Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt, US deputy secretary of state James Steinberg and Bosnia's leaders. But reforms needed to end Bosnia's status as an international protectorate as well as constitutional changes aimed at speeding up integration with the European Union were already rejected by Bosnia.

Croatian artillery logs requested by ICTY possibly found

B92 reported that Croatian artillery logbooks that were demanded by ICTY were possibly found in the apartment of Emil Crncec, a retired Croatian army officer.

Crncec was arrested together with seven others on suspicion of committing war crimes against Serb prisoners in 1995. Boxes were seized containing documents regarding operations Blaze, Storm, and Mistral and possibly contained artillery logs long requested by the tribunal.

Trial against Karadzic to commence October 26

The trial against Radovan Karadzic is set to commence next Monday, October 26. ICTY chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz expects the trial to last between two and a half and three years. The indictment includes four elements: ethnic cleansing in municipalities, the siege of Sarajevo, the Srebrenica massacre and the hostage taking of UN observers. More than 400 witnesses have been called, including eye witnesses.

Source: B92.

Croatia arrests seven for war crimes

Croatia arrested seven people on suspicion of committing war crimes in Bosnia in 1995. The seven were former army members suspected of killing five Serbian prisoners in the Bosnian town of Mliniste in 1995.