October 15th 2010 06:12:57 AM
In the news this week:
BELGRADE, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Serbia’s Appeals Court quashed a war crimes conviction against a Bosnian official on Monday in a move that could ease ties between the two former Yugoslav states that have never fully recovered from the 1992-95 war.
A court spokeswoman said the judges had ordered a retrial in the case of Ilija Jurisic, a Bosnian Croat who was jailed for 12 years for alleged crimes against the Yugoslav army in Bosnia.
Official relations between the two neighbours worsened in 2007 after Serbia arrested Jurisic, from the northern town of Tuzla, on charges that he ordered an attack on a column of the Yugoslav Peoples’ Army (JNA) that killed at least 50 soldiers.
Belgrade backed separatist Bosnian Serbs during the war, in which more than 100,000 people from all ethnic groups died.
In May, the Muslim chairman of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency postponed a visit to Belgrade after he was denied permission to visit Jurisic.
Jurisic will now be released from jail and allowed to go home to Bosnia pending a fresh trial, court spokeswoman Mirjana Prljic said.
“A retrial was ordered due to incomplete and inaccurate evidence,” she said.
Both Bosnia and Serbia aspire to join European Union, and building good neighbourly relations is, among other things, a condition for progress towards membership in the wealthy bloc.
I’ll just give Nebojsa Malic’s take on this:
This is indeed bad, so they saved [the news] for the aftermath of the “pride riots”, when nobody would be paying attention. Remember how Albanian “officials” would get arrested on Serbian warrants, then released? [Examples: Hashim Thaci’s brief arrest in Hungary in 2003; Agim Ceku’s detainment and release in Bulgaria last year after pressure from the U.S. and France, as well as Hungary and Slovenia in previous years; plus a momentary detainment and expulsion of Ceku from Colombia last year.]
That pretty much established that Serbian Interpol warrants were not to be taken seriously. Then there was the Ganic fiasco [Bosnian-Muslim war criminal arrested in UK], in which the British upheld all sorts of wacky Muslim claims, including that the Serbian prosecutors tried to bargain with his extradition in exchange for Muslims accepting the Srebrenica declaration (!!), whereupon Ganic walked, and the Serbs decided not to appeal (”to save money”).
And now the man who was rightly convicted of ordering the attack on the helpless Army column [they’d laid down their weapons] that was ambushed and massacred in Tuzla gets released (and returns to Bosnia, meaning he’ll NEVER be put on trial again) — because of alleged prosecutorial incompetence?!
It is becoming crystal clear that the only purpose of that “special court” [the Serbian court helping with the Hague’s overflow] is to put Serbs on trial, and only because the Hague Inquisition is running out of money and time. The moment it is expected to actually pursue justice for the Serbs? Failure, scandal, incompetence. To add insult to injury, this is all at the expense of Serbian taxpayers.