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BALKAN NEWS


SETimes.com / 21.01.2011.
Region news

SEFIK ALIC, FORMER MUSLIM COMMANDER, SENTENCED TO PRISON
21.01.2011.

The appeals chamber of the Court of BiH sentenced a former Bosnian Muslim commander to ten years in prison Thursday (January 20th) for war crimes committed against Croatian Serb soldiers in 1995. Sefik Alic was found guilty of inhuman treatment of four detainees and failing to prevent their killing. Alic served in the Fifth Corps of the Muslim-led Bosnian Army. A first instance court had cleared him of responsibility for the crimes in April 2008. Alic's lawyer vows to appeal this latest ruling. (RTRS, Srna, Fena, BHRT, Reuters - 20/01/11)

RASMUSSEN SAYS NATO WILL REMAIN GUARANTOR OF PEACE, SECURITY IN KOSOVO
21.01.2011

The division of Kosovo is not an option and NATO will remain the primary guarantor for peace and security, Alliance Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in an exclusive interview with the newspaper Koha Ditore on Friday (January 21st). Urging Kosovo institutions to act with responsibility and maturity, he also reassured the public that despite the decreased number of NATO troops in Kosovo, the security situation will not be affected in any way. "From the view point of the security -- and this is the part where it has to do with NATO and KFOR -- what we are expecting, and further what I would say also what we request from Kosovo leadership, is to continue with a moderate and constructive approach," Rasmussen said.

As for the recent controversial report by Council of Europe Rapporteur Dick Marty, Rasmussen said he believes that if Marty has proof of his accusations, he will present it to the relevant institutions. (Koha Ditore, Telegrafi, Kohavision, RTK - 21/01/11)

EU'S ASHTON: MARTY TO BRING EVIDENCE TO EULEX
21.01.2011.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Thursday (January 20th) that there is no need for an additional prosecutor to investigate allegations made by Council of Europe Rapporteur Dick Marty, since the EULEX Mission already has independent prosecutors working in the area. Ashton was responding to a request from Human Rights Watch that the EU name an independent prosecutor to probe Marty's allegations of human organs trafficking. Ashton also says there should be more evidence from Marty before any new investigation could be launched, Radio Free Europe reports. Any prosecutor, she says, has to base investigations on evidence admissible in court. "If indeed Marty, or anybody else, has found substantial evidence of criminal activities, we do encourage him to bring those forward to the appropriate authorities, including EULEX," Ashton stated. (Zeri, Koha Ditore - 21/01/11; TV 21, Kohavision, Arta TV - 20/01/11)

CROATIA DECIDES NOT TO SEEK PURDA'S EXTRADITION
21.01.2011.

Prosecutors in the town of Osijek announced on Thursday (January 20th) they will not seek the extradition of war veteran Tihomir Purda, as there are no grounds for opening a criminal investigation against him. Purda, who fought in the eastern town of Vukovar, was detained earlier this month at the border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, based on a Serbian arrest warrant. Authorities in Belgrade suspect him of involvement in war crimes committed against Serbs in Vukovar early in the war. Serbia has said that it will seek his extradition if Croatia does not. (HRT, Vecernji List, RTS, Tanjug, Beta - 20/01/11)




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