International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

President reacts: Fascism won't pass here

"I urge the citizens of Serbia not to worry about the latest fascist incursion of Bosko Obradovic and his followers into the (Belgrade) City Assembly."

April 4, 2019

Fascism will not pass, President Aleksandar Vucic said.

In an unscheduled address to the media after the events in front of the Belgrade City Assembly, where supporters of opposition Alliance for Serbia (SZS) tried to force their way into the building, Vucic said that he first wanted to apologize to the women who prevented SzS members from storming the Assembly.

"I apologize to the women who had to suffer insults from unknown persons, because Obradovic is not from Belgrade, he did not even stand in elections for the city parliament. What had been done (in the past) in Hungary and Nazi Germany - these fascist ideas will not pass in Serbia, and therefore I call on institutions to do their job. Fascism has no future in Serbia because democracy is a form of political regime that we have been fostering and continue to foster," Vucic said.

He added that he was speaking today because he wanted to "thank the magnificent women."

"70 or 80 of them have shown that they are capable of standing up to fascism. The picture of them holding hands and defending an institution from fascist Obradovic is the most beautiful picture," Vucic added.

"They have stood in defense of their country, their institutions, and defeated the thugs and the bullies. They deserve admiration and I wish I could have been a city official at least for a while, to share this admiration with them. This way, they have my immense gratitude," concluded the president of Serbia.

Speaking about a previous announcement made by Orbadovic, the leader of the Dveri Movement, that an opposition protest planned for Saturday, April 6, will see participants go to the Pink TV building, Vucic said that they will not be allowed to enter the broadcaster's premises, and that violence will not be allowed to anyone.

Vucic pointed out that he does not want to in any way fall for the provocations of the SzS, "which have been directed at the police the whole time, in order to cause some reaction."

"The police will have to react in some way and at some point," Vucic said, adding that everyone should realize "about what kind of bullies this is about."

"The fact that they are kicking policemen, swinging at women, taking chainsaws with them, gallows - it's no coincidence - it's a habit, and the state will have to react," the president underlined. He also guaranteed to journalists that "nothing would happen to them and that no one would beat them."

Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=04&dd=04&nav_id=106555

FM: Maybe clouded minds plan to cause incidents in North

Ivica Dacic says the UK's warning its citizens not to travel to the north of Kosovo could refer to the possibility of major incidents breaking out there.

April 3, 2019   

The foreign minister and first deputy PM spoke for TV Pink on Wednesday and did not rule out the possibility that those incidents would be caused by "those with clouded minds" who want to conquer the north of Kosovo (predominantly inhabited by Serbs).

Dacic recalled that this was not the first such warning, and that "the international community has done it before."

According to him, the warnings relating to the north of Kosovo are sometimes also connected with a criminalization of Serbs carried out by Pristina, "because, it is constantly saying that there is a criminal structure in the north and that it is unstable there."

"Whereas in Pristina, there are criminal authorities that are now accusing the North of Kosovo of being a crime hub. However, since the warning came at this time, it is interpreted as meaning that there could be major incidents not related to crime, instead it could, happens if somebody gets the idea - and there I' m thinking of those with clouded minds - to conquer the north of Kosovo and Metohija by military means," Dacic said.

He added neither Serbia nor Pristina have full sovereignty over Kosovo on the ground. Serbia, Dacic continued,, does not have full sovereignty since the NATO bombing and the Kumanovo Agreement, while Pristina doesn't have full sovereignty in the north of Kosovo and Metohija.

"Their aim is to, if things drag out, try to achieve the Croatian scenario and create another (Operation) Storm, expel Serbs from Kosovo and extend their sovereignty to the north. That is why our warning both to the international community and to our citizens is that frozen conflict will not last forver, because it is a problematic concept that could lead to such attacks," Dacic said.

He added that it is not favorable for Pristina that 11 since Kosovo unilaterally declared independence, it ha not become a member of the UN, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, or Interpol, while the EU in refers to it as a territory and not a state in its documents.

On the other hand, Serbia is constantly working on those countries that recognized the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo to reverse that decision, despite pressure coming from the United States, Dacic said. "The situation has changed now, because many countries leave the possibility of reaching a compromise," Dacic said, adding that because of all these circumstances that do not work in Pristina's favor, it is likely that Ramush Haradinaj will not withdraw the taxes (on goods from central Serbia).

In such an atmosphere, says the head of Serbian diplomacy, it is uncertain when the dialogue will continue, but, he says, it will not happen before the taxes have been abolished.

Dacic also said that he "won't let anyone criticize him about Kosovo even when he is proposing solutions that do not like someone."

"I have the right to do it. I have done more for a Serb Kosovo than the all foreign ministers in history put together," Dacic said.

Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=04&dd=03&nav_id=106546

PM: I won't resign, and I don't accept blackmail

"I will not resign, and I don't accept ultimatums and blackmail," Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said on Wednesday.

MARCH 27, 2019

She in this way responded a journalist asking for her comment on the demands of the opposition Alliance for Serbia (SzS) toward the state leadership.

"They do not have to wait until April 13, my answer is that I will not resign," said Brnabic, adding that "the ultimatum made by the people gathered around SzS, for me to resign, together with the president of the Republic and the speaker of the National Assembly, by April 13 - is an ultimatum made by bullies." 

It's also made by people who showed they want to achieve democracy through street violence, gallows and chainsaws, said the prime minister. 

"I was not scared, nor was the government scared of gallows, threats and chainsaws. We respect democracy, Serbia is a society of decent and normal people and we will never accept ultimatums made by bully and fascists," Brnabic said. 

SzS representatives recently called on Brnabic, President Aleksandar Vucic and National Assembly President Maja Gojkovic to resign, and give them a deadline of April 13, when they announced that they would organize a big protest in Belgrade.

Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=03&dd=27&nav_id=106497

Court ruling against Milosevic's widow overturned

The Appellate Court in Belgrade has overturned the first-instance verdict convicting former leader of the JUL party Mirjana Markovic to a year in prison.

MARCH 26, 2019

Markovic - the widow of former Serbian and Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic - was first found guilty and sentenced in June last year, on charges of influencing a government commission in 2000 to illegally assign a state-owned apartment to her grandchild's nanny, the daily Blic is reporting.

In the ruling published on Tuesday on its website, the Appellate Court ordered the trial to be repeated before the Higher Court in Belgrade, in order to eliminate all illogical points from the verdict, as well as and violation of the criminal procedure. 

By the abolished verdict sentenced former Secretary of the government of Serbia, Zivka "Cica" Knezevic to one and a half years in prison, while then director of Dipos Milos Loncar was sent to jail for one year on charges of abuse of office. Markovic was found to have incited both to commit the crime. 

The original verdict was pronounced almost 15 years after the initiation of criminal proceedings, which will now be resumed with a retrial. Markovic was tried in absentia because she was inaccessible to the judicial authorities of Serbia. 

Representatives of the General Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation in 2010 announced that Markovic enjoys the status of a political refugee in that country and that she cannot be arrested on the Serbian Interpol notice, which was issued in 2005 and is still in effect.

Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/crimes.php?yyyy=2019&mm=03&dd=26&nav_id=106487

Serbian president "surprised by US ambassador's statement"

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said late on Tuesday that he was surprised by US Ambassador Kyle Scott saying that "not only Pristina is to blame.".

MARCH 27, 2019

Scott said the blame for the current relations between Belgrade and Pristina is also the absence of dialogue on both sides.

"I am surprised by Scott's statement. Hang on, man. They say, don't shift the blame. Say what we are guilty of?," Vucic said while on a Happy TV talk show. 

The journalists remarked that some have asked Vucic to seal off passages towards Kosovo and Metohija "airtight." 

"Now I have a question for these smarties. Do they know that we would seal off our people in Kosovo that way, endanger their lives and supplies? Or do they think we can pass a law that says, 'entry allowed to Serbs, but not to Albanians'? That's 1932, Hitler's Germany and Serbia will not pass such laws," Vucic concluded. 

Vucic said that former and current high ranking US State Department officials, Wess Mitchell and Matthew Palmer, criticized him in meeting and said he was "unfair" in the context of the dialogue with Pristina because, thanks to the engagement of Serbia, a number of countries have withdrawn their recognition of Kosovo. 

Vucic asked whether the United States complained to Pristina when Madagascar recognized Kosovo - as it was now complaining when Madagascar withdrew that recognition. 

The president pointed out that the United States is calling on the countries not to withdraw recognition, and that representatives of the Dominican Republic and Suriname showed him a circular letter asking them not withdraw their recognition of Kosovo. 

Vucic asked in what was Serbia was "unfair" and again pointed out to a number of irresponsible decisions made Pristina, among which were "anti-civilization taxes (on goods from central Serbia) which are inappropriate for the 21st century" as well as Pristina's platform that is not for dialogue, but against it. 

"I pleaded with (EU foreign policy chief) Federica Mogherini not to allow them pass this platform, we received its draft six months earlier, I warned them, they told me that it would not come come to that. Pristina passed it anyway," said Vucic. 

He also pointed out that the Community of Serb Municipalities(ZSO) has not yet been formed in Kosovo, and that they have even voted in favor of establishing the so-called Kosovo army, which, the president recalled, is in contrast even with the "Kosovo Constitution." 

During the show, Vucic also announced that French President Emmanuel Macron will visit Serbia in July, and that he received a confirmation of the exact date. 

"Macron is coming, and before that - if everything is fine and I don't resign or get killed in the meantime - I will have the opportunity to see President Xi Jinping in China on April 25, which is a very important meeting, and I believe that I will meet (Russian leader) Vladimir Putin in China as well," Vucic said. 

He said he was convinced that he would have the opportunity for another one or two important encounters, but did not reveal who he was referring to. 

Asked whether he plans to intensify cooperation with the US and, perhaps, visit there, Vucic said he never "begs for meetings." 

"I am waiting for an invitation for America. When the call comes, I will go," said Vucic.

Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=03&dd=27&nav_id=106492

Early parliamentary elections "either in June, or next year"

Serbian President and ruling SNS leader Aleksandar Vucic says no final decision has been made on holding parliamentary elections.

MARCH 26, 2019

Elections will take place either in June, or in the spring of 2020, Vucic announced late on Monday, after a meeting of his party's presidency.

He said that the final decision had not been made yesterday - "but we are closer to calling them than before." 

"The SNS presidency was in favor, with with one abstention - mine," Vucic said. 

He announced that the SNS will start internal elections on September 1, which will be completed before the end of the year. 

Vucic also received unanimous support from the party's presidency "not to enter into talks with leaders of (opposition) Alliance for Serbia Djilas, Jeremic and Obradovic." 

"The decent Serbia will not have violence," Vucic said. 

The SNS must be the most responsible, he said he told the party's top officials. 

"We must not enter into grinding stone of political violence, into which our political opponents along with fascist Bosko Obradovic are trying to pull us," Vucic said. 

"I will not accept any of their requests. What remains if for them to kill me. What is the third solution? There is no third option," he said. 

Vucic announced that he will be in Belgrade on the April 19, continuing "The Future of Serbia" campaign, and then go to Cacak. 

He reiterated that he would "not allow violence" and said it was "unheard of anywhere in the world is what fascist Obradovic and tycoons Djilas and Jeremic are announcing, including blockades, preventing city officials from going to work, and the like."

Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=03&dd=26&nav_id=106483

"Moscow will defend Belgrade's right in Kosovo"

Russia's stabce towards the crisis in Kosovo and Metohija is that it will support Belgrade's every request made towards Moscow.

 MARCH 25, 2019

Member of the Russian Duma Yevgeny Primakov said this in an interview for Belgrade daily Vecernje Novosti.

"We care about Serbia's right to its southern province being respected, and Russia is a guarantor that Serbia will not lose in that process," he said. 

"We will support any decision of your state leadership over the fate of Kosovo and Metohija, if it is adopted with a political consensus and if that solution does not cause a civil conflict. Russia is the most important property and personal security of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija," said Primakov, who is the grandson of former Russian head of diplomacy and intelligence services Yevgeny Maksimovich Primakov, who was one of the most deserving Russians for reaching the Kumanovo agreement, and the adoption of Resolution 1244 in the United Nations Security Council. 

In 2009 Yevgeny Maksimovich spoke for the first time about "delimitation" - that is, the north of Kosovo and Metohija and the enclaves they where they live belonging to the Serbs, and his grandson says it was a well-known idea that is being considered even today. 

"Russia's position is that Belgrade should decide whether or not to make such a decision," Primakov said. 

Asked whether the Serbian EU road has no alternative, Primakov said that Serbia should respect its interest and if it decides to join the EU, must do so on its own terms. 

"We see what happened to the economy of Bulgaria, which has been completely destroyed after the country joined the EU. You must not allow such a relationship," Primakov said.

 Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/world.php?yyyy=2019&mm=03&dd=25&nav_id=106473

"Delaying solution is spark that could set region on fire"

"Every day of delays could create conditions in which one spark could set the region on fire," President Aleksandar Vucic has told Reuters in an interview.

MARCH 22, 2019

The Western countries, that pamper Pristina, should know that, the agency quoted him as adding.

Vucic also said that Serbia "has many red lines" - but that he did not wish to mention them, in order not to "destroy a chance for talks." In addition, he thinks that "some German-French initiative" will soon follow. 

"I don't want to talk about red lines, because talks are made impossible after that. We have many and we are not even close to any kind of an agreement (with Pristina). At this time, there is nothing," he explained. 

Vucic emphasized that he would not undermine the chance for talks, "because talks keep the Serbs alive." 

He further expressed confidence that "a German-French, that is, European engagement in the coming period will be clearer and more obviously visible and presented in the Balkans." 

"I think Chancellor Angela Merkel knows very well what kind of hazards there are and wants to preserve peace in Europe. I think that we will see some of their incentives in the very near future," Vucic emphasized. 

He recalled that Serbia's European future depends on the talks with Pristina "and whether we will be able to reach an agreement one day." 

"Otherwise no one will ever let us into Europe (EU). People in Serbia need to know that. We need to be fair and we do not deceive people," he said. 

When it comes to opposition protests in Serbia, he said that people have the right to protest, to their dissatisfaction for various reasons, although he thinks that all essential things are incomparably better than they had been. 

"But people want quicker, stronger progress, and sometimes you can't do it because you have many problems you are facing, and of course there are mistakes, because it is an integral part of life," the president explained. 

He pointed out that he cannot accept "the thesis" which appears in Serbian newspapers, that "some service, British, Russian or other" is to blame. 

"I think that three or four irresponsible politicians, tycoons are responsible for the violence we have seen. And who, what and how additionally supports or not, I'm not interested in at all," Vucic said.

 Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=03&dd=22&nav_id=106463



The only prosecution for which Karadzic was acquitted in The Hague was again divided by Serbs and Bosniaks

March 22, 2019

The verdict that the first president and war commander of the Republic of Srpska, Radovan Karadzic, was sentenced to life imprisonment for himself, brought two important issues and both shared the public.

On the one hand, the fact that the war criminal was punished by a 40-year sentence was increased to the maximum, which individuals view as an injustice, and the victims' families and much of the world as "the satisfaction of justice". On the other hand, the fact that Karadzic was not convicted of genocide in seven municipalities in B&H was not convicted in a final judgment. At the same time, this is one count of the indictment, which he was not found guilty. For some it is "devastating", for others - good news.

With the absence of genocide convictions outside Srebrenica, ie in seven municipalities in B&H, the connoisseurs agree, the second-instance verdict placed a point on Bosniak tendencies to prove that there were genocides on the wider territory of B&H.

This is exactly what caused Bosnians and dissatisfaction with Bosniaks, and on the other, as well as several times to now, once again made a deviation from, not so rarely, the accusations at the expense of the Serbs in the global.

Lifelong slave - symbolism or something more

One of the things that was also pointed out yesterday is a revised 40-year sentence for life imprisonment. For some she was expected, while others see it as symbolic, given Karadzic's years (73).

A Belgrade lawyer with great experience in the former Hague Tribunal, Branislav Tapuskovic, says that, with Karadzic's verdict yesterday, "the genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina is practically finished."

- We will have to wait for another, second instance verdict Ratko Mladić, although I do not believe that there is something important to change in it when it comes to seven municipalities - he says for Blic.

As he explains, it is true that it might have been expected that there might be some changes in the second instance verdict, which could be a reason for re-examining Republika Srpska-B&H relations, but that did not happen.

- The Croatian president said yesterday that she expected to determine the relationship between the army of Yugoslavia and the events in B&H, in the sense of the aggression of Serbia in B&H, but there is no, so the expectations were disappointed in her, but also in B&H, where they also expected - the story he.

And precisely what he says is the attitude of the Croatian government, which in its statement stated that "on the basis of evidence and other verdicts it should have been connected with the political and military top of the then Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, under the leadership of Slobodan Milosevic".


That was precisely the expectations among the Bosniaks, and they called the individual a farsa, saying that the key part of the indictment was rejected, despite the evidence that serious crimes were committed in 1992 in areas like Prijedor that were not affected by war.

- A verdict was put on the genocide project primarily against Bosniaks committed in 1992 to 1995, in the western part of BiH, as well as in the north-east and east of the country (the move from Bijeljina to Trebinje) - said Sarajevo professor Denis Grac to DW .

The surviving victims of genocide look at the verdict

According to him, "the centralization of the evil against Srebrenica, a systematic crime in the rest of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been acquitted."

He called the life sentence of Grac prison "filigree sensationalism", pointing out that the determination of the criminal sanction was reduced to "blurring the eyes of the public, to the politics that compromised the historical importance of the ICTY."

Otherwise, the responsibility of Radovan Karadzic for genocide in seven municipalities in BiH was not established in the first instance verdict. In support of the likelihood of remaining so, the court's judgments from The Hague tribunal, which no one was convicted of genocide in the seven municipalities, testify.


Without genocide throughout the territory of B&H

Also, neither in the procedure that B&H has brought against Serbia (more precisely FRY) before the International Court of Justice, BiH has failed to prove that Serbia had intended to commit genocide throughout the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, nor to destroy the Muslim-Bosniak population of B&H. The verdict of that court states that Serbia can not be held responsible for the genocide committed in Srebrenica by the Republika Srpska forces.

 European Court of Justice

The conclusion of this court is that other crimes committed by Serb military forces during the 1992-1995 war remain at the level of war crimes, and can not be qualified as genocide.

Unofficial translation from source: https://www.blic.rs/vesti/politika/radovan-karadzic-dozivotna-presuda-hag-srebrenica-genocid/kzw5sn5

"Pristina cannot block Serbia's EU path"

Minister for European Integration Jadranka Joksimovic says she sees no reason for the process of Serbia's EU integration to slow down due to Pristina's moves.

MARCH 20, 2019

Joksimovic told the daily Vecernje Novosti that the only way for the European Union to preserve the integral inviolability and indivisibility of the negotiation process with Serbia is to "evacuate the monitoring of the Brussels agreement from the negotiating platform for Chapter 35."

She pointed out that Chapter 35 should serve to monitor the agreements reached with Pristina, although it has been proven multiple times that Serbia respects them. 

"Arrangements either exist or don't, they are not commodities to be bargained with," she said. Speaking about a series of moves Pristina has made, that have blocked the dialogue with Belgrade, the minister said that Pristina finally stopped the dialogue by introducing taxes (on goods from central Serbia), and by adopting the (negotiating) platform, announced that the Brussels agreement does not exist for them. 

"It is therefore no longer feasible that Belgrade alone is trying to maintain it through committed resolve for cooperation, while the EU and other international actors are failing to pull out the dialogue car that got stuck in Pristina's mud of confrontation," said Joksimovic. 

She pointed out that the EU, as a signatory to the Brussels agreement, can make a basic overview of what has been achieved, "and it will show that Belgrade has no unfulfilled obligations." 

"In line with the rules of negotiations, which include Pristina not blocking Serbia on its European path, I do not see any valid justification for the possible slowing down of Serbia's process due to Pristina's unilateral moves, which also make EU's entire work on the dialogue meaningless," Joksimovic said. 

Asked about the prospects of membership in 2025, Joksimovic replied that, regardless of the required technical work that must be done in the negotiations, EU accession is primarily a political process that depends largely on attitudes, but also on perceptions of member-states. 

"We don't see the EU as a promise, but as an open option and we will continue to implement reforms," Joksimovic said. 

The minister added that Serbia expects the next intergovernmental conference and the opening of new chapters by the end of June, after EU elections and the publication of the annual report on Serbia's progress. She recalled that five chapters are technically ready to be opened, and that it was realistic that some of them wll be opened.

 Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=03&dd=20&nav_id=106450

"Serb people, and I with it, have already won"

After the verdict passed against him, Radovan Karadzic sent a message, recounted for RTRS from The Hague by one of his defense team members, Marko Sladojevic.


 MARCH 21, 2019

"The Serb people and myself together with it, have already won. The Serb Republic (RS) has been created, and the Serb people are free in their own state," Karadzic is quoted as saying, and adding:

"The sacrifice that I am making is lesser than that of others. Thousands of thousands of young people built the RS with their lives. Many became disabled veterans. The biggest sacrifices were those of mothers whose sons, most often their only sons, gave their lives for the freedom of the Serb people. Those are the genuine victims." 

According to the lawyer, who said he spoke with Karadzic for about half an hour after the verdict was delivered, he also said that the Hague Tribunal's revenge against him was empty, and that as an old man, he could not be harmed by it. 

"We did not give up even when it was much harder, so even imprisoned like this I will never stop fighting for the truth about our just struggle in the war that was imposed on us, and in which all three peoples suffered. Every war, especially a civil war, results in crimes, which our state, if aware of them, condemned and prosecuted. We fought honorably for the freedom and equality of the Serb people in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Therefore, let us always and in every place be dignified, let us not hate others, and let us proudly guard what is greater than us - the Serb Republic," Karadzic stated. 

Earlier in the day on Wednesday, the Appeals Chamber of the Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals in The Hague sentenced Karadzic to life imprisonment on charges of genocide and war crimes, overturning an earlier judgment sentencing him to 40 years in prison. 

Karadzic was the first president of the RS and a political leader of Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the 1992-95 war.


Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/region.php?yyyy=2019&mm=03&dd=21&nav_id=106454


On March 24, 2016, Karadzic was sentenced to 40 years in prison in the first instance ruling, but the decision was appealed both by the prosecution and by the defense. He was at the time found guilty on 10 out of 11 counts of the indictment. 

Fila specified that Karadzic had been indicted on one count of genocide, five counts of crime against humanity, four counts related to violations of the rules and customs of war and three concerning joint criminal enterprise. He also stood accused of responsibility for the shelling of Sarajevo, expulsion of the population from Srebrenica, and taking of hostages. 

Fila remarked that Karadzic was found guilty on all but one crucial count - genocide in the municipalities of Bratunac, Brcko, Foca, Kljuc, Kotor, Varos, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Visegrad, Vlasenica and Zvornik. 

"The only good thing is that (judge) Theodore Meron is not there. The prosecutor's wish was to show that genocide took place not only in Srebrenica. If this issue remains and if the prosecutor succeeds in us being a genocidal people for the entire Bosnia-Herzegovina, the punishment will life in prison," the lawyer stressed.

 Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/region.php?yyyy=2019&mm=03&dd=20&nav_id=106447

Appeals Chamber sentences Karadzic to life imprisonment

The Appeals Chamber of the Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals in The Hague has sentenced Radovan Karadzic to life imprisonment.

 MARCH 20, 2019

The appeals verdict rendered on Wednesday changes the first-instance verdict, that in Match 2016 sentenced the first president of the Serb Republic (RS) to 40 years in prison.

Although the Appeals Chamber rejected most of the arguments made by the prosecution and the defense, the judges, led by Denmark's Vagn Prusse Joensen, found that the 40-year sentence was not adequate. 

Karadzic was today once again convicted on 10 out of the indictment's 11 counts. 

The Appeals Chamber confirmed that Karadzic was not guilty of genocide against the Muslim (Bosniak) population in seven municipalities of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the period between 1992 and 1995.

"Not optimistic"

Ahead of the final verdict in the trial of former Serb Republic (RS) president Radovan Karadzic, lawyer Toma Fila said that he was "not optimistic." 

"By nature, I'm not an optimist. There is a possibility that his sentence will be increased," Fila told TV Prva on Wednesday, speaking about the verdict that was to be delivered later in the day by Appeals Chamber of the Residual Mechanism in The Hague. 

On March 24, 2016, Karadzic was sentenced to 40 years in prison in the first instance ruling, but the decision was appealed both by the prosecution and by the defense. He was at the time found guilty on 10 out of 11 counts of the indictment. 

Fila specified that Karadzic had been indicted on one count of genocide, five counts of crime against humanity, four counts related to violations of the rules and customs of war and three concerning joint criminal enterprise. He also stood accused of responsibility for the shelling of Sarajevo, expulsion of the population from Srebrenica, and taking of hostages. 

Fila remarked that Karadzic was found guilty on all but one crucial count - genocide in the municipalities of Bratunac, Brcko, Foca, Kljuc, Kotor, Varos, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Visegrad, Vlasenica and Zvornik. 

"The only good thing is that (judge) Theodore Meron is not there. The prosecutor's wish was to show that genocide took place not only in Srebrenica. If this issue remains and if the prosecutor succeeds in us being a genocidal people for the entire Bosnia-Herzegovina, the punishment will life in prison," the lawyer stressed.

 Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/region.php?yyyy=2019&mm=03&dd=20&nav_id=106447

"EU membership remains Serbia's foreign policy priority"

First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic spoke with on Monday with representatives of the European Council on Foreign Affairs (ECFR).

MARCH 19, 2019

According to the Serbian government, they discussed "the current state of affairs in relations between Serbia and the European Union in the process of our country's Eurointegration and the future of the dialogue Belgrade and Pristina."

They also spoke about the implementation of political and economic reforms on the road to the EU, with particular emphasis on regional cooperation. 

Dacic reiterated that full EU membership represents Serbia's foreign policy priority, and that our country is committed to resolving all open issues through dialogue and peaceful means. 

The minister pointed to the need to find sustainable solutions in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, with the adequate support of the international community.


Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=03&dd=19&nav_id=106433

Serbia is always looked at with much love from RS - Dodik

President Aleksandar Vucic met in Belgrade on Tuesday with Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) Presidency Chairman Milorad Dodik.

MARCH 19, 2019

Dodik, a former president of the Serb entity in BiH, the Serb Republic (RS), expressed "gratitude and satisfaction with the desire, determination and intention of Serbia and President Aleksandar Vucic to continuously assist citizens and municipalities of the RS."

In a joint conference with Vucic, Dodik said that today's agreement on assistance to RS citizens - the projects to be financed by Serbia in 62 municipalities in the RS - have been "the most concrete to date." 

The realization of this agreement and project will mean that Serbia will be present in all municipalities throughout the RS, and it's about serious money, Dodik said. 

He added that the fact Serbia was in this way helping the RS was encouraging, "when we know there is much that Serbia needs to be done." 

Dodik said that he also talked with Vucic about the issue of relations between BiH and Serbia, especially the issue of the border, which, as he said, remains unresolved due to the attitude of the Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) side that has "its own, different approach to the issue." 

As far as he is concerned, he said, the option that was originally proposed is acceptable. 

"Serbia and Srpska (RS) are showing cooperation that is aimed at stabilizing the entire area. To us Serbia is the most important for stability of the entire region, and for the open issues that exist to be solved," Dodik said, adding that "what Serbia is doing for the RS is a good example for everyone, especially for erbs in BiH." 

According to Dodik, President Vucic informed about the formation of power at the state level of BiH, where the Serb and Croat sides showed readiness, but there had been obvious obstruction from the Bosniak side in order to retain the personnel that suits them in ministerial positions. 

Therefore, he pointed out, it is not only a technical delay, but an organized obstruction, which will last for a while, Dodik said, adding that the Serb side does not intend "to suffer it." 

The behavior of Vucic during the weekend protests (in Belgrade) and the message sent that way - the message of the defense of institutions and statehood - has met with the approval of citizens in the RS, while nobody approves of violence, Dodik said. 

Asked how the events in Belgrade were seen in BiH, he replied: 

"Never mind how it's seen in BiH. In the RS it's seen this way - Serbia is always looked at from the RS with a great deal of love, and a desire that all the best things happen to it. What we saw was certainly not a good picture and it was aimed at destabilizing Serbia and at collapsing the negotiating, regional and international position of Serbia."



It is important that a genocide judgment remains, even if only for Srebrenica

Kamberovic states that the Court will once again send a message that the crime is not worth the money, and that Karadzic can not be an idol

March 19, 2019

President of the Association for Modern History and Professor at the Department of History at the Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo, Husnija Kamberovic, told FENA that it is difficult to predict with certainty the decision of the International Criminal Court mechanism, but thinks that sufficient evidence has been produced during the trial The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), in 2016, sentenced Radovan Karadzic to 40 years in prison for each of the crimes he was charged with, including the crime of genocide.

- We know that there has been a change in the Trial Chamber, which in itself is already precedent, and there is a lot of speculation about the protests on the Court, which can all cause a certain fear when it comes to the final decision. Nevertheless, I believe that the Trial Chamber will confirm the previously pronounced verdict and that there will be no significant changes. The Defense will, of course, be dissatisfied with such a verdict as the Prosecutor's Office, which demanded that crimes committed in Bratunac, Foca, Kljuc, Sanski Most, Vlasenica and Zvornik be characterized as crimes of genocide - said Kamberovic.

He added, he thinks that it is important to remain a verdict on genocide, even if only for Srebrenica, and that 40 years in prison, when Karadzic is at issue, is the same as a life sentence.

Kamberovic states that the Court will once again send a message that the crime is not worth the money, and that Karadzic can not be an idol for anyone.

- I think that after the confirmation of the Karadzic and Mladic judgments, we can underline the process of litigation, face genuine crimes, and then continue to build life and relations not only in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also relations between B&H and Serbia - concluded Kamberovic .

The Appeals Chamber of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Courts will pronounce the second instance verdict Radovan Karadzic as announced on March 20 in The Hague.

Karadzic was found guilty of 10 counts of the indictment, including genocide in Srebrenica, by the Trial Chamber's Trial Chamber of 2016, and sentenced to a single 40-year prison sentence.

He was acquitted of the first count of the charge that charged him with genocide in seven municipalities - Bratunac, Kljuc, Foca, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Vlasenica and Zvornik.

Source:  https://www.oslobodjenje.ba/vijesti/bih/kamberovic-vazno-je-da-ostane-presuda-za-genocid-pa-makar-i-samo-za-srebrenicu-442369

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