PPIO Daily Media Summary, 8 June 2011

> Police issues
Ministers want greater control over police commissioners!
Credit card abuse represents problem also in the Balkans
> Incidents/crimes
RS Special Prosecutor’s Office arrests five for multiple robberies
Custody of Police Commissioner Brkić terminated and prohibitive measures imposed
Bankers from Banja Luka brutally beaten in Međugorje
Incident in Bratunac MA: SRS member shows up with Mladić’s photo
Armed robbery in Banja Luka
> Political/other news 
No more speeches at Potočari graveyard, Organisational Board decides
Orić to be indicted for war crimes against Serbs?
Helsinki Committee opposes BiH-Serbia cooperation agreement on war crimes prosecution
 
 
> Police issues
Ministers want greater control over police commissioners!
Dnevni Avaz, front page and pg 3 (full translation) – A conflict between Canton Sarajevo Minister of Interior Muhamed Budimlić and Police Commissioner Vahid Ćosić has been going on for quite some time now, Avaz learns from a number of police sources.
Avaz tried to get the confirmation of yesterday’s news that Budimlić had requested the Independent Board for Selection and Appointment of Police Commissioner to remove Ćosić from office. The Minister refused to comment, saying that the Independent Board (IB) has all information, while the Police Commissioner denied that his removal from office had been requested.
The IB Chairman, Borislav Petrović, who is the only person authorised to make statements, was not reachable yesterday, but sources close to the IB said he will call a session at the end of the week. The sources also say documentation full of negative remarks that Budimlić has made about Ćosić will be put on the agenda.
Avaz learns that the conflict occurred when Budimlić received a quarterly report from Ćosić on the work of the police, which he was to present at a session of the cantonal government. However, when Budimlić requested Ćosić to provide additional information, the Commissioner, allegedly, refused to do so.
The conflict culminated after Ćosić, without having previously consulted Budimlić, appointed new heads of the MoI’s CID and police administrations Ilidža and Novi Grad. Their relationship worsened about ten days ago, when Commissioner Ćosić instructed the Police Administration staff not to contact anybody in Minister Budimlić’s Cabinet without his approval.
Avaz also learns that this problem is not limited only to Canton Sarajevo MoI. All cantonal ministers of interior, who have been appointed by the ‘Platform’ parties, are getting ready to impose greater control over the police commissioners.
The new ministers oppose the commissioners’ requests for getting full financial independence. Also, the ministers who propose laws to their governments and ‘defend’ them before the parliaments, think that the laws on internal affairs need to be amended, primarily in parts regulating the responsibilities of police commissioners.
According to the current law, police commissioners are accountable only to the independent boards that appoint them, but the ministers want the police commissioners to be accountable to them as well.
Inset “Ćosić: Everything I did was in line with the law” - Commissioner Ćosić said he will say more about this issue next week.
Nevertheless, he stressed that information about the conflict and reasons for disagreements between him and the Minister were untrue, highlighting that the Minister cannot initiate Police Commissioner’s removal from office nor can he do that himself, adding that only the IB can do that.
“Everything I have done so far was in line with the law. Everything else is mere speculation,” said Ćosić.
Inset “All ministers meeting on 17 June, EUPM to attend as well!” – All amendments to the police laws were mostly controlled by police commissioners, under the watchful eye of the international community, which has always pointed out that politics must not interfere with the work of the police.
“We are supportive of any initiative that aims to harmonise the legislation and we will be glad to give advice that follows best European practices, if we are requested to do so,” EUPM Spokesperson Monja Koluder told Avaz.
Koluder also confirmed that Commissioner Stefan Feller, Head of the EUPM, will attend the meeting of all police ministers in the Federation, which is scheduled to take place on 17 June.
Avaz learns that the meeting will focus on the ministers’ request to make the police commissioners accountable to them, and that most of them will request to be given control over the professional standards units.
 
Credit card abuse represents problem also in the Balkans
Nezavisne Novine, pg 3 – European police agencies have much work to do because of frequent abuses of credit cards, the problem which has started ‘moving’ to the Balkans. This was stressed at yesterday’s seminar in Banja Luka, which the RS Ministry of Interior organised in cooperation with the EC’s Instrument for Technical Education.
“The RS MoI recognised this as a problem two or three years ago, and we have undertaken proper measures by improving the Criminal Code to be able to sanction the perpetrators of this kind of crime. We have formed an organisational unit that actually represents forensic support to inspectors conducting this kind of investigations,” said RS Police Director Gojko Vasić,adding thatthree major arrests have been made in the RS so far.
Representatives of police agencies, prosecutor’s offices, the BiH banking system and EUROPOL attended the seminar, as well as experts from Italy, France, Belgium, Austria, Ireland and Visa International Service Association.  
 
 
> Incidents/crimes
RS Special Prosecutor’s Office arrests five for multiple robberies
Glas Srpske, front page and pg 5, Dnevni Avaz, pg 17, Nezavisne Novine, front page and pg 3 – Investigators of the RS Special Prosecutor’s Office, in cooperation with Banja Luka and East Sarajevo PSCs, arrested on Monday evening five persons, who are suspected in a number of armed robberies of banks, post offices, privately owned firms and persons. 
The RS Special Prosecutor’s Office issued a press release saying that the robberies were committed in the RS in the period from 2000 to 2006.
Nezavisne Novine learns that the among the arrestees is also Milomir Pajić from Sokolac, who has been brought in connection with a number of unsolved murders in East Sarajevo and Belgrade over the past several years. 
 
Custody of Police Commissioner Brkić terminated and prohibitive measures imposed
Nezavisne Novine, pg 6 – The BiH Court accepted on Monday a motion filed by the Prosecutor’s Office and rendered a decision in the Ramo Brkić et al. case terminating the custody of Brkić and imposing the following prohibitive measures: ban on leaving the place of residence; ban on travelling, along with the ban on the issuance of new travel documents as well as on the usage of ID card for crossing the state border; mandatory reporting to the relevant Police Stations, once a week. These measures shall remain effective as long as required and will be subject to a bimonthly review.   If the suspect breaches any of the imposed measures he will be ordered into custody.
Ramo Brkić, former Police Commissioner of Una-Sana Canton, is suspected of the criminal offence of organized crime in conjunction with the criminal offences of abuse of office or official authority and accepting gifts and other forms of benefits.
Oslobođenje, pg 12 “Former Police Commissioner to be held responsible for illegal drug production?!”, learns unofficially that the motion filed by the Prosecutor’s Office is motivated by the fact that the investigation is almost finalised. Namely, the former police commissioner can no longer influence witnesses and the course of the proceeding because the case will soon result in the indictment. Credible sources say that Brkić will also be accused of production and distribution of illegal drugs.
 
Bankers from Banja Luka brutally beaten in Međugorje
Press RS, front page and pg – Five bankers from Banja Luka, who participated in a traditional gathering of BiH’s bankers in Međugorje over the weekend, were brutally beaten by local hooligans, who were cursing their “Serb and Četnik mother”.
Press RS learns that local authorities tried to hush up the scandal, while bosses of the banks instructed the beaten staff not to give any statements to the media.
Stressing that the bankers from Banja Luka did not do anything to cause the incident and that they were intercepted in front of ‘Metanovi dvori’ coffee bar, the sources claim that even police in Međugorje tried to hush up the incident, and that they behaved extremely arrogantly towards the bankers. 
“Police treated the persons attacked as if they were the attackers and did not make the smallest effort to identify and arrest the hooligans,” the sources said. 
Spokesperson for Herzegovina-Neretva MoI Srećko Bošnjak told Press RS that “minor incidents” happened in Međugorje on Sunday morning, but the HQ of the cantonal MoI in Mostar has not been informed that those events were “that dramatic”.
 
Incident in Bratunac MA: SRS member shows up with Mladić’s photo
Dnevni Avaz, pg 11 – Yesterday’s regular session of Bratunac Municipal Assemblywas stopped when Vojin Pavlović, a representative of the Serb radical party ‘Dr Vojislav Seselj’, refused to remove the photo of General Ratko Mladić that he had brought and placed in front of himself. The session will be continued today and MA representatives have requested Mayor Nedeljko Mlađenovic to provide physical security to ensure proper session process. 
 
Armed robbery in Banja Luka
Nezavisne Novine, pg 11 – A man wearing a balaclava and armed with a handgun robbed ‘Taša’ shop in Banja Luka of around 250KM on Monday evening, police said yesterday. The investigation continues.  
 
 
> Political/other news 
No more speeches at Potočari graveyard, Organisational Board decides
Oslobođenje, pg 7 – This year, politicians will not be allowed to hold speeches at the graveyard in Potočari Memorial Centre, the Organisational Board in charge of marking the 16th anniversary of genocide in Srebrenica decided at a session yesterday in Potočari.
The Board Chairman, Ćamil Duraković, explained that “for years now, speeches by politicians have been a problem for the victims’ families, which is why we have decided to change that part of the program”.
“From now on, officials will be able to give their speech in a hall opposite the graveyard. As for the religious service, everything remains the same. We have so far identified 501 persons, and we expect that there will be 550 victims identified by 11 July,” said Duraković, adding that the draft program of marking the 16th anniversary of genocide, which was adopted yesterday, will be officially presented on 15 June.
 
Orić to be indicted for war crimes against Serbs?
Glas Srpske, pg 5, Nezavisne Novine, pg 2 – The BiH Prosecutor’s Office has been investigating war crimes against Serb civilians in the Srebrenica area, but it is still unknown when the investigation will be finalized and whether persons responsible for those crimes, including Muslim military commander in Srebrenica Naser Orić, will be processed.
Spokesperson for the BiH Prosecutor’s Office Boris Grubešić was unable to disclose the suspects’ names due to the ongoing investigation. Confirming that the case has been taken over from the County Prosecutor's Office in Bijeljina, Grubešić said that it is an extensive and complex case and that it will take time to investigate and complete.
“There were four cases and in each of them Naser Orić was among the persons suspected of war crimes against Serbs in Srebrenica and Bratunac,” said Novak Kovačević, Chief Prosecutor of the County Prosecutor’s Office in Bijeljina.
At least 1,300 Serbs were killed in the municipalities of Srebrenica, Zvornik, Milići, Bratunac, Vlasenica and Osmaci during the war, while a total of 3,267 Serb civilians and soldiers were killed in the wider area of Central Podrinje and Birč, according to the Centre for War Crimes in Banja Luka.
 
Helsinki Committee opposes BiH-Serbia cooperation agreement on war crimes prosecution
Nezavisne Novine, pg 3 - The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights (HKHR) in BiH has warned that the signing of the agreement on cooperation in the prosecution of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, between BiH Prosecutor's Office and Prosecutor for War Crimes of the Republic of Serbia would represent a flagrant violation of the European Convention on the transfer of proceedings in criminal matters.
The HCHR deems that the application of the provisions of this agreement would produce serious violations of human rights of BiH citizens, and that, at the same time, it would seriously threaten the functioning of the institutions of BiH in accordance with their constitutional and legal powers.
 "The agreement does not deal with resolving issues of parallel criminal proceedings for crimes of war crimes committed in Bosnia, which are already in process. This indicates that in the Republic of Serbia there will still be warrants issued with the names of BiH citizens against whom proceedings are already in the progress in BiH,” says the HCHR.
 
 
Front pages     
Dnevni Avaz – Ministers want control over police commissioners!
Oslobođenje – BiH beats Albania in Euro 2012 qualifier
Nezavisne Novine – RS Special Prosecutor’s Office arrests five for multiple robberies
Glas Srpske – BiH common institutions spent 633 million KM on salaries in 2010
Press RS – Bankers from Banja Luka beaten in Međugorje
EuroBlic – Team of Russian lawyers to defend Mladić
Dnevni List – HVO officers want to move out of BiH

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