International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Zvizdic welcomes newly appointed Russian ambassador to Bosnia

June 10, 2021

Deputy Speaker of BiH's House of Representatives Denis Zvizdic received the Russian Ambassador to BiH Igor Kalabukhov in his inaugural visit, whom he said it is necessary to continue improving relations between the two countries, especially in the fields of economy, tourism, education and culture.

Zvizidic said that the Russian Federation is one of Bosnia's most important foreign trade partners and one of the major investors in its economy, stressing that there is room for strengthening economic cooperation.

He added that it is necessary to support and encourage ties between business communities, which are important for further expansion of bilateral trade and economic cooperation.

Kalabukhov pointed out that he would work on improving economic and political cooperation and that he would advocate for good relations between the two countries.

The two agreed that it is necessary to improve the dialogue and enable the exchange of cultural, sports, as well as high-level visits.

During the meeting, Zvizdic wished Kalabukhov a successful diplomatic mandate in Bosnia.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/zvizdic-welcomes-newly-appointed-russian-ambassador-to-bosnia/

Dodik tells US Ambassador Biden's sanctions are undemocratic

June 10, 2021

Bosnian Serb Presidency Chairman Milorad Dodik said in a telephone conversation with US Ambassador to BiH Eric Nelson that the White House Executive Order referring to the Western Balkans is neither democratic nor in the spirit of respect for human rights and the rule of law.

Ambassador Nelson who initiated the telephone conversation informed the BiH Presidency Chairman about this document on the orders of the US administration. Dodik said that the decree was “another tool of the US administration for modelling the relations in the region and that it will make the dialogue harder, at least when it comes to BiH.

Dodik pointed out that he was of the opinion that “Bosniak politicians saw the document as a means of disciplining Serbs and that it would be difficult to ensure a normal dialogue in such an atmosphere.”

Dodik once again conveyed to the American ambassador that the Republika Srpska entity is not dealing with secession, but its determination to fight for the preservation of its autonomy, which belongs to it according to the Dayton Peace Agreement, the Presidency Chairman’s Cabinet announced.

U.S. President Joseph Biden signed an executive order Wednesday on additional sanctions against authorities and individuals threatening peace, security, stability or territorial integrity of any area or state in the Western Balkans, the White House said.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/dodik-tells-us-ambassador-bidens-sanctions-are-undemocratic/

CoE ministers urge Bosnian authorities to speed up electoral reform process

June 10, 2021

The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers called on Bosnian authorities to speed up the process of electoral reform in order to fully harmonise the Constitution and electoral regulations with the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights.

It added that the changes of the electoral legislation only, without adequate changes to the Constitution, will leave the discriminatory law provisions that were disputed in the court's rulings.

The Committee gathered for its quarterly meeting to oversee the execution of judgments and decisions from the ECHR, including the ruling in the ‘Sejdic-Finci’ case, which treats the issue of ineligibility to stand for elections to the Presidency and the House of Peoples and refers to the citizens who do not affiliate with one of three Bosnia's constituent peoples.

The ministers expressed concern over the lack of “tangible progress” in the adoption of measures that would ensure the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the country's electoral legislation are fully in line with the ECHR's rulings.

According to Fena news agency, the Committee showed a great interest in the information about the establishing of the inter-agency working group that will be in charge of preparing and amending the electoral legislation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and called on the authorities to provide a regular update on the further steps in this process.

The ministers also urged Bosnian authorities to make sure the draft proposal of changes to the Constitution and the Election Law of Bosnia and Herzegovina is prepared by September 1, 2021, so that the 2022 elections are held in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/coe-ministers-urge-bosnian-authorities-to-speed-up-electoral-reform-process/

Izetbegovic discusses improvement of relations with Azerbaijan officials

June 10, 2021

Opening the embassies of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Baku and the Azerbaijani in Sarajevo would contribute to the further strengthening of relations between the two countries, said Bakir Izetbegovic, the Speaker of Bosnia's House of Peoples during his official visit to Azerbaijan on Thursday.

He met there with Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov, with whom he discussed the options of the improvement of cooperation, especially in the fields of metal, military and wood industries as well as the energy and tourism sectors.

Following the meeting with speaker of the National Assembly Sahiba Gafarova, Izetbegovic met in separate meetings with FM Bayramov and deputy prime minister Ali Ahmadov.

Ahmadov expressed respect towards Bosnia and Herzegovina and the progress the country has achieved over the past two decades, stressing that he is closely following the situation in BiH and that Azerbaijan strongly supports Bosnia's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Izetbegovic congratulated Ahmadov and the citizens of Azerbaijan on the successful integration of its territory during the last liberation war, adding that he hopes the country will manage to rebuild the infrastructure and create conditions for living, the Fena news agency reported.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/izetbegovic-discusses-improvement-of-relations-with-azerbaijan-officials/

New high representative for Bosnia: Responsibility for crimes is individual

June 9, 2021

There is no long-term stability without strict prosecution of perpetrators and without open access, recently appointed international envoy in Bosnia and Herzegovina Christian Schmidt said on Wednesday, a day after the UN court handed down a life imprisonment sentence for Ratko Mladic for the crimes during the Bosnian war of the 1990s. He also said that the responsibility for the crimes against humanity, especially genocide, is individual.

“This court makes it clear that there can be no justification for war crimes. Without strict prosecution of perpetrators and without open access, there can be no longer stability. It is about individual responsibility for crimes against humanity. Especially for genocide. Regardless of origin, rank, or other excuses. For what genocide is: a purely brutal, inhuman violence. There is no justification for that,” the German diplomat, who is taking over the duty of the international community's high representative in BiH as of August 1, was quoted as saying.

Schmidt emphasised the “bitter experience” that the war crimes and genocide were possible to happen in Europe in the late 20th century, noting that the international community “hesitated too long” before it intervened in the wars in the former Yugoslavia.

“It was only after the Srebrenica genocide in July 1995 that the international community intervened. By enabling the Dayton Peace Agreement at the end of 1995,” said Schmidt who is taking over the Office of the High Representative, which oversees the civilian part of the implementation of the 1995 peace deal for BiH.

In a Facebook post published by the Sarajevo office of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Schmidt was also quoted as saying that The Hague tribunal for the war crimes in former Yugoslavia had an “invaluable importance” for the peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina but also for the rest of the world.

All citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina are entitled to the right to peaceful coexistence and have the right to know what happened in the past and that there will be no violence, terror, and destruction in the future, he stressed.

“Therefore, war criminals are not distinguished by heroism. My country had to learn, understand and overcome this in a difficult way. The international community has helped a lot. Those responsible must work closely with civil society. They must resolutely oppose covering up or even denying the crime,” added Schmidt.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/new-high-representative-for-bosnia-responsibility-for-crimes-is-individual/

BiH Ambassador to UN criticises Serbia over war criminal Djukic

June 8, 2021

Bosnian Ambassador and permanent representative to United Nations Sven Alkalaj thanked Judge Carmel Agius and the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals on a job well done, during Tuesday's UN Security Council session, adding that BiH courts have already taken all measures in the implementation of the strategy for the work on war crime cases.

One of the goals, he said, is to finish all cases by 2023 when all the potential perpetrators must answer for their actions.

Alkalaj criticised the Serbian government for protecting the convicted war criminal Novak Djukic responsible for the murder of 71 Tuzla youths.

“The General Djukic case is vital in demonstrating BiH's co-operation with neighbouring judicial authorities. After Djukic was convicted of war crimes, he fled to Serbia. That damaged the relationship [with Serbia]. He must return to face his crimes,” Alkalaj concluded.

He also spoke about war criminal Ratko Mladic.

“After evading justice for some 10 years, with the support of the Serbian authorities, the Mechanism passed a verdict against Mladic today and closed this chapter. There are those who glorify war crimes and deny genocide. This is especially related to the Mladic case. Today's verdict shows that the attempt to rewrite history will fail,” said Sven Alkalaj.

After his address, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, asked for the floor. He said Alkalaj did not have the permission to speak tonight adding that that is how Bosnian Serb Presidency member Milorad Dodik informed him.

After Vucic finished his presentation, the session of the Security Council ended.

Earlier on Tuesday Dodik said that Alkalaj could not address the UN SC “because the Presidency of BiH did not reach an agreement regarding the proposal for his presentation.”

In a letter to the UN SC, Dodik stated that the BiH ambassador may physically attend the session but “without addressing it.”

His colleague from the State Presidency reacted later tonight saying in a letter addressed to the UN Security Council that Alkalaj had full approval to address the session.

“I take this opportunity to inform you that Chairman Dodik did not follow the procedure of the Presidency when he expressed his opinion. As a member of the BiH Presidency, I would like to inform you that there are no obstacles for Ambassador Alkalaj to address the Security Council,” Komsic concluded.

In a reaction to N1, he said that “Dodik is a bandit like Mladic.”

“He [Dodik] doesn’t recognize the verdicts of the United Nations Court while at the same time he writes to the UN Security Council in order to prevent the BiH Ambassador’s address,” Zeljko Komsic stated at the end.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/bih-ambassador-to-un-criticises-serbia-over-war-criminal-djukic/

Russia at UN SC: UN Court failed its function and did not establish justice

June 8, 2021

The Hague Tribunal had not performed its function, nor did it bring reconciliation among the peoples, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation Gennady Kuzmin said Tuesday evening speaking at the UN Security Council session where the verdict to Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic was discussed as the last case the UN Court for Yugoslavia would take, adding that it did not even establish justice.

Addressing Judge Carmel Agius who spoke just moments before him, the Russian representative said “We noticed the upbeat mood that you had today when reporting your achievements. You hastened to share the news about the conviction of another high-ranking Serb official. The verdict pronounced for Ratko Mladić added to the politicized stance assumed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Now it has also stained the reputation of the Residual Mechanism..”

He asked why no one was responsible for the bombing of Serbia in 1999. Or why are they “turning a blind eye” to what the Kosovo Albanians were doing during the war?

“Soon it will be 30 years, almost one-third of a century, during which time the biased and cost-intensive Hague machinery of justice has been grinding the fates of those who took part on the war in the Balkans… The ICTY went down in history as a tool of revenge rather than a body of justice,” Kuzmin said.

He assessed that ICTY and the Residual Mechanism have not been instrumental in reconciling the diverse Balkan community. The reason for this, he said, is a shortage of fairness in the verdicts issued, bashing one side of the conflict while hushing up the wrongdoings of the others.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/russia-at-un-sc-un-court-failed-its-function-and-did-not-establish-justice/

OSCE: Justice for victims and survivors is essential to building lasting peace

June 8, 2021

Tuesday’s verdict against Bosnian Serb army general Ratko Mladic closes an important chapter in pursuing justice for victims and survivors of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity committed in BiH, said Kathleen Kavalec, Head of the OSCE Mission to BiH.

Kavalec said that the verdict is a crucial step toward holding accountable individuals responsible for these crimes.

“Justice for victims and survivors is essential to building lasting peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to upholding the rule of law. Our thoughts are with the survivors and the families of all victims of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.”

The BiH Presidency, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Dayton Peace Agreement, reminded “of the obligation to sympathize with the pain and suffering of members of all peoples and citizens, and the obligation to show respect to all innocent war victims”.

“In line with these words, the Mission urges everyone in BiH to work towards promoting peace and reconciliation, to show compassion for victims and survivors by respecting the verdicts of international and domestic judicial institutions, and to refrain from divisive and offensive rhetoric,” said Kavalec.

“The Mission reminds that criminal responsibility is attributed to individuals and urges all to refrain from construing the verdict as being directed against any ethnic group,” said Kavalec.

“While the Mission recognizes today’s verdict as a positive development, the fact remains that many crimes committed during the conflict remain unanswered. The OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina continues to support the judiciary of BiH with the processing of war crimes cases in BiH in accordance with the Revised National War Crimes Processing Strategy and internationally recognized fair trial standards,” concluded Kavalec.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/osce-justice-for-victims-and-survivors-is-essential-to-building-lasting-peace/

Komsic and Dzaferovic: Ratko Mladic verdict shows link with BiH's RS entity

June 8, 2021

The Ratko Mladic verdict, which established the existence of several joint criminal enterprises, including that of the political and military leadership of Bosnia's Republika Srpska entity, clearly shows that there was an intention to commit a number of horrific crimes in the country, based on ethnic differences, Zeljko Komsic, the Croat member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“Among them is the crime of genocide. A crime against humanity, a series of war crimes and ethnic cleansing. Knowing all this, it is clear that the then political and military leadership of the Republika Srpska aimed to create an ethnically cleansed Bosnia and Herzegovina in which they would thus create a completely different environment for the realization of their political goals. Unfortunately, we are still facing them in peacetime,” said Komsic.

“If we know that the military and political leadership of the RS were convicted of a joint criminal enterprise, the consequences of which are facing the current BiH, then the actions of the current political leadership of the RS can be brought into question, which through denying of the judgments of international courts continues the same matrix but in today's peacetime conditions,” Komsic added.

“This clearly shows that Republika Srpska will never be an independent state,“ the Croat Presidency Chairman concluded.

The Bosniak member of the tripartite Presidency Sefik Dzaferovic, said that no punishment in this world would be adequate for the crimes for which Ratko Mladic was convicted because it cannot bring the murdered victims back to life, nor can it ensure full justice if the monstrosity of the crimes described in the verdict is known.

However, he added that life imprisonment is partial justice and satisfaction for the victims. It is even more important because such a man will never be free again, Dzaferovic said.

He expressed regret that the Hague Tribunal did not have the courage to convict Mladic of genocide in other municipalities, apart from Srebrenica. This, he noted, is an obvious fact which even Mladic admitted when he said that what was required of him means genocide.

“Nevertheless, the fact remains that the crimes remain in the verdict and were described as crimes against humanity. Its significance is that after the verdicts to the political leadership [of the RS] it has completed the image [of the war in Bosnia]. And when it comes to the military leadership – no one can claim anymore that the joint criminal enterprise was legitimate,” Sefik Dzaferovic stressed.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/komsic-and-dzaferovic-ratko-mladic-verdict-shows-link-with-bihs-rs-entity/

Dodik: Mladic's verdict is an attempt to create myth about Srebrenica genocide

June 8, 2021

The mechanism that sentenced Ratko Mladic to life in prison had nothing to do with law and justice, it was "an attempt to create a myth about the genocide in Srebrenica that never happened," Bosnian Serb Presidency Chairman Milorad Dodik said after the verdict on Tuesday, adding that "the Serb people suffered the most in the wars after the break-up of Yugoslavia"

“When the Hague tribunal was formed, it was said that it would work on establishing the responsibility of those who committed crimes, it would increase trust among peoples and bring back what everyone wants – to better understand each other and function with each other. That first goal was not achieved because 96,000 people died in BiH, of which 29,000 were Serbs. Only two percent of convictions for crimes against Serbs have been handed down. What kind of justice is that where Ganic, Dudakovic, Oric, Gotovina and others who committed crimes against Serbs are listening [to the verdict] in their homes from freedom. They were protected by the Mechanism. No one will convince Serbs that Naser Oric has no responsibility for the killings. Another goal – to reconcile peoples was a delusion. With its decisions, the Hague Tribunal, as a form of selective justice punishing Serbs above all, contributed to the fact that distrust among peoples exists even more. That goal that has been set has not been achieved. The confidence in international justice has been destroyed,” Dodik said.

He pointed out that “the Court failed to prove Mladic's direct responsibility and that they were instructed that he should answer for the known and unknown crimes.”

“They are trying to preserve the careers of western people in power. They said Serbs killed over 300,000 Bosniaks and raped 60,000 of their wives. That turned out to be incorrect, but that framework was made to demonize Serbs as much as possible. The consequences of political processes remain. We the Serbs must learn that we cannot change that. General Mladic was sent directly to the legend. Without his command and spirit, the Serb people would have suffered even more. Serbs are the biggest victims of the disintegration of Yugoslavia. They suffered in Slovenia, Croatia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, in [Bosnia's Federation entity] FBiH, in Montenegro they are fighting for their rights, etc.,” concluded Dodik.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/dodik-mladics-verdict-is-an-attempt-to-create-myth-about-srebrenica-genocide/

EU on Ratko Mladic's verdict: There can be no impunity

June 8, 2021

Genocide denial, revisionism and glorification of war criminals contradict the most fundamental European values and the Ratko Mladic verdict is an opportunity for leaders in BiH and the region to lead the way in honouring victims and promote an environment conducive to reconciliation to overcome the legacies of the war and build lasting peace, EU said following the second instance verdict against the former Bosnian Serb army general.

The final judgement vs Ratko Mladic before the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) brings to an end a key trial in Europe’s recent history for war crimes, including genocide, which took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Remembering those who lost their lives, our deepest sympathies are with their loved ones and those who survived.

The EU expects all political actors in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the Western Balkans to demonstrate full cooperation with international tribunals, respect their decisions and acknowledge their independence and impartiality.

Genocide denial, revisionism and glorification of war criminals contradict the most fundamental European values. Today’s decision is an opportunity for leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region, in view of the facts, to lead the way in honouring victims and promote an environment conducive to reconciliation to overcome the legacies of the war and build lasting peace.

This is a prerequisite for the stability and security of Bosnia and Herzegovina and fundamental for its EU path. It is also amongst the 14 key priorities of the Commission Opinion on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s EU membership application.

International and domestic courts in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the neighbouring countries need to continue their mission to provide justice for all victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, and their family members. There can be no impunity,” the EU said in its statement.

Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb army general, was sentenced to life in prison by the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (MICT), Tuesday, confirming the first instance verdict.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/eu-on-ratko-mladics-verdict-there-can-be-no-impunity/

Council of Europe criticises discrimination against minorities in Croatia

June 10, 2021

In a report released on Thursday, the Council of Europe warned that discrimination against national minorities still persists in Croatia, especially when it comes to Roma people and Serbs.

The Council of Europe’s Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities said in its Fifth Opinion on Croatia that Croatia’s “legislative framework pertaining to national minorities is overall in conformity with the provision of the Framework Convention”.

“Comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation has been enacted and structures to promote equal treatment and address individual cases of discrimination at national and regional levels are in place,” the report reads.

The report however warned that “discrimination towards persons belonging to certain groups persists, notably the Roma and Serb national minorities, including returnees.”

The Advisory Committee thus welcomed “the reconciliation process that occurred in the summer of 2020”, when Croatia’s deputy prime minister, who is a member of the Serb national minority, attended the commemoration of the liberation of the Croatian territory and when Croatia’s prime minister and members of his cabinet attended a commemoration for the Serb victims of the 1991-95 war.

The authors of the report also stress that from 2017 to 2020 the number of hate crime cases and incidents of hate speech in the media and political discourse increased, which encouraged the strengthening of radical nationalism.

They say that the implementation of the anti-discrimination act and the presence of national minorities in public media are “insufficient”.

“The public debate related to national minorities is dominated by anti-minority rhetoric and prejudice, persons belonging to the Serb and the Roma national minorities being the most affected. Historical revisionism affects the Serb, Roma, and Jewish national minorities,” the report says.

The Advisory Committee calls on the Croatian authorities “to develop a comprehensive strategy to promote inter-ethnic dialogue” and to teach the culture and history of national minorities “in all schools”.

The report also underscores as problematic access to employment for some minorities, as well as the housing conditions of Roma families living in slums and informal settlements.

The Advisory Committee also calls on the authorities to reconsider the census procedure, as the representation of national minorities in parliament, which is currently “unbalanced”, depends on it.

According to the report, “the existing thresholds to access some minority rights are too high and to the disadvantage of numerically smaller national minorities”.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/council-of-europe-criticises-discrimination-against-minorities-in-croatia/

Experts: Serbia’s new law additionally complicates access to information

June 10, 2021

Information on the work of political parties, religious communities, but also some state-owned companies, which the public is eager to know about, could become unavailable under a new Law on Access to Information, experts have warned on Thursday.

The existing Law was described as the best globally, but its implementation was far from that.

People have struggled to get information of public interest, and according to some experts, who participate in the public debate about the changes in the Law, that venture could be even more difficult.

“That’s why we are concerned that the changes will additionally encourage the institutions to put ‘secret’ marks without being obliged to explain why some information could endanger the state institutions’ or Serbia’s interest,” Pavle Dimitrijevic of the Center for Research, Transparency, and Accountability (CRTA), said.

According to the experts, the most dangerous novelty is that information could be withheld because its publication would jeopardise the state company’s position in the market.

“Those companies anyway have a privileged status in the market; some even have a monopoly. Then the question is how information about their work could be damaging and also, do they operate in a free market economy,” Ana Toskic of the Partners for Democratic Changes in Serbia NGO, said, mentioning the example of Serbia’s Railway company.

The institution of the Commissioner for Information of Public Interest is mostly powerless. Its instructions are most often ignored, and the former Commissioner said that it could change if the failure to implement the recommendation became a crime.

So far, the government has been the last resource. Still, in 15 years of the existing Law it has never done anything to make institutions or state-owned companies respect the Commissioner’s recommendations.

Earlier, journalists and their organsiations also said the proposed changes would only legalise the practice of hiding information.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/experts-serbias-new-law-additionally-complicates-access-to-information/

Tit-for-tat: Russia expels North Macedonia’s diplomat

June 10, 2021

Moscow expelled on Thursday Skopje's embassy attache in retaliation for North Macedonia's move to declare a Russian diplomat Persona Non-Grata last month.

Skopje’s Foreign Ministry said its acting ambassador to Russia Olivera Causevska-Dimovska was summoned to the Russin Foreign Ministry and told her country attache was declared Persona Non-Grata.

North Macedonia’s Ministry said it regretted the move describing it as an „unfounded political decision based on political revenge, which will negatively affect bilateral relations.“

Skopje expelled a Russian diplomat in mid-May, saying he was dealing „with undiplomatic issues,“ and Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani said he hoped Moscow would not retaliate and reduce North Macedonia’s embassy to a single person.

In 2018, Skopje also expelled a Russian diplomat in solidarity with the UK, NATO and EU over a former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal poisoning.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/tit-for-tat-russia-expels-north-macedonias-diplomat/

Opposition official says Serbian president pressuring prosecution

June 10, 2021

Serbian opposition leader Marinika Tepic said on Thursday that the fact that President Aleksandar Vucic sent a message to prosecutors by appearing in public with a local strongman who has been alleged to have been involved in a sex for favors scandal.

Vucic appeared at the opening of the Fischer automotive systems factory in the town of Jagodina side by side with local strongman Dragan Markovic Palma, a member of the ruling coalition headed by Vucic’s Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), who has been under pressure for weeks following allegations of pimping of young girls. Vucic told reporters that he would not protect Markovic if he is proved guilty of the allegations.

“My impression is that Vucic’s trip to Jagodina, shoulder to shoulder with Palma when the public is expecting to see an investigation into the accusations of organized prostitution… when we expect Palma’s arrest and his removal from television to stop him intimidating victims and witnesses… we have this show which is a message to the prosecution,” Tepic said, adding that the fact that Vucic and Markovic are coalition partners is no reason for the president “to come to the local tycoon” at a sensitive moment.

“I don’t care whether the factory is opened by Vucic or anyone else, he won’t be paying them. The important thing is that this is direct pressure on the prosecution at the most sensitive stage,” she said. According to Tepic, the prosecution seemed to have been ready to launch the investigation. “If that was not the case, Vucic would not have appeared in Jagodina with Palma,” she said adding that Vucic did something similar in other cases when he wanted to free associates of the blame in several cases.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/opposition-official-says-serbian-president-pressuring-prosecution/

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