Media Round-Up: 5 – 20 January 2021
The following media round up on international, legal and foreign policy issues from around the Balkans for the period of 5 – 20 January 2021. The Guernica Group will provide bi-weekly media updates with a focus Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia . Should you wish to contribute or submit a media summary, opinion piece or blog, please send to Ned Vucijak at firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
Investigations have started into the wiretapping of the Serbian President
A thorough investigation has been launched in to the wiretapping of the Serbian President, Alexander Vucic. The investigation which is strictly confidential seems to have been going on for some time. Minister Alexandar Vulin confirmed the wiretapping.
Milomir Stakics appeal for early release was denied - 5 January 2021
Milomir Stakic was sentenced to 40 years imprisonment in 2006 for extermination, persecution and murder during the Bosnian Serb war. He recently submitted an application for a remission, which The UN court in The Hague dismissed.
Kosovo sets election date - 7 January 2021
Last week, Acting President Vjosa Osmani announced that the new snap elections would be held on the 14th of February 2021.
This came after the Constitutional Court ruled that the current government, run by Avdullah Hoti, was illegitimate.
Kosovo’s acting president thinks they should rethink the Serbia agreements’ - 5 January 2021
Acting President Vjosa Osmani thinks that Kosovo should reopen talks with America regarding the Serbia agreements.
With Bidens administration taking office, She hopes that they might have a different view and are willing to make amendments. The agreement, which covered mainly economic issues, where signed separately between Kosovo and America and Serbia and America, in September last year under Trumps administration.
Voting Rights - 12 January 2021
Many complains have been made regarding the decision, made by Kosovo's Central Election Commission, to verify voters from abroad by telephone.
The Central Election Commission decided that Diaspora voters can register from 13th of January till 21st of January. The application will then be verified via telephone, and if the applicant does not answer their phone, the application will be rejected and won't be allowed to vote.
Nasim Haradinaj refuses to attend court due to unfair treatment - 8 January 2021
Nasim Haradinaj, deputy leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army War Veterants’ Organisation, felt that he was unfairly treated by the courts and refused to appear.
Kosovo Election Candidates at risk - 20 January 2021
“A person convicted of a criminal offence by a final court decision in the three last year’s can not be a candidate for deputy or win a valid mandate in the Assembly of Republic of Kosovo, ” the Constitutional Court announced. The Kosovo Judicial Council has confirmed that 47 out of 1081 candidates have got prior court sentences.
Vesna Medinica resigns as President of Montenegro’s Supreme Court - 30 december2020
Vesna Medinica decided to resign, after criticism regarding her third mandate was voiced in European Commission reports and other civic organisations in Montenegro. She stated that she didn’t want to be an obstacle for her countries path to a European Union membership.
Montenegro free from anti-Semitism - 8 January 2021
Jewish communities have suffered over history in many countries, but it looks like it has found a safe haven in Montenegro.
The Chief Rabbi of Montenegro, Luciano Mose Prelevic said, that Montenegro is one of the few countries in the world where antisemitism has never manifested. Even though the Jewish community is quite small in Montenegro, it has deep historical roots.
Bosnia and Herzegovina News
Taric Sisic appeal was rejected by the Bosnian Constitutional Court - 14 January 2021
Taric Sisic a former Bosnian army soldier was convicted of involvement of killing 21 Serbs in Kukavice in 1992. In his appeal he stated that he was acquitted of the charges but later retried and sentenced to five years in prison. After a further appeal his sentence was prolonged to eight years.
Predrag Bastah Bosnian Serb Ex-policeman tried for participation In Bosniaks’ Murder - 4 January 2021
Predrag Bastah who is currently serving a twenty-two-year sentence for having participated in murders of civilians, unlawful detention, forced disappearances and resettlement of population. Is now being tried by the Bosnian State court for crimes against humanity.
Mr Bastah is pleading not guilty.
Bosnia and Herzegovina - 15 January 2021
The Prosecutors office of Ukraine have commenced criminal proceedings regarding the allegedly
illegal export of the 300 year old gilded Orthodox Icon. That is at the moment in the position of
Bosnian Serb Leader Milorad Dodik.