The following media round up on international, legal and foreign policy issues from around the Balkans for the period from 1 October to 7 October 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.
Montenegro – 1 October 2021
Human rights campaigners called on the Montenegrin Supreme State Prosecution to relaunch probes of crimes committed by high-ranking officials during the nine-month siege of Dubrovnik by the Yugoslav People’s Army, which started on 1 October 1991.
Bosnia and Herzegovina – 1 October 2021
A year after an investigation was opened into the disclosure by several media outlets of the identity of a protected witness in the trial of five ex-policemen accused of involvement in the Srebrenica genocide, the prosecution has not announced any progress in the case.
Serbia – 4 October 2021
A defence witness told the war crime trial of wartime fighter Osman Osmanovic at the Belgrade Higher Court that he was held at the jail where the defendant allegedly assaulted prisoners in the Brcko area of Bosnia and Herzegovina but did not see any prisoners being beaten or tortured while he was there.
Serbia – 5 September 2021
Belgrade Higher Court said that Zvezdan Jovanovic, who shot dead Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic in 2003, is not eligible to ask for conditional release from prison until the end of 2029, despite a campaign calling for him to be freed immediately as a ‘Serbian hero’.
Serbia – 6 September 2021
Ivan Todosijevic, a Kosovo Serb MP from the Belgrade-backed Srpska Lista party, did not appear as ordered by the court to begin his two-year prison sentence for inciting ethnic, racial or religious intolerance.
Bosnia and Herzegovina – 7 October 2021
The remains of five war victims, believed to be Bosniak women and girls from the same family who were killed in 1992, were found in the eastern Bosnian municipality of Bratunac.
Montenegro – 7 October 2021
Russian billionaire Telman Ismailov’s lawyer, Milos Vuksanovic, called on the Montenegrin authorities to address his client’s request for political asylum before taking any decision to extradite him to Russia. The Azerbaijan-born Russian billionaire was arrested in Podgorica, Montenegro, on 1 October, on a Russian-issued international arrest warrant for allegedly ordering contract murders.
Kosovo – 7 October 2021
Hysni Gucati and Nasim Haradinaj went on trial at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague, charged with obstruction of justice and witness intimidation after they received leaked documents from war crimes case files and urged media to publish confidential information from the documents in September 2020.
Kosovo – 7 October 2021
Toby Cadman, Haradinaj’s lawyer, said he was seeking independent monitoring of the proceedings, raising questions about the fairness of the process. Mr. Cadman stated, “we will ask the OSCE or another body…to conduct an independent monitoring of the proceedings because we are concerned about the way the proceedings are being conducted”.