The following media round up on international, legal and foreign policy issues from around the Balkans for the period from 11 October to 15 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.
Kosovo – 11 October 2021
A Kosovo court has approved a complaint from the Ombudsperson and declared a decision of the country’s energy regulator on billing consumers from four northern municipalities illegal. It ordered ERO to “get the Energy Distribution Company, KEDS, to return the billed amount, namely compensate the damage to consumers who have been billed for the energy spent in four Kosovo northern municipalities from 06.02 2012 to 20.10.2017 to the amount of 40,855,480.00 euros,” https://balkaninsight.com/2021/10/11/kosovo-court-annuls-decision-on-energy-bills-in-serb-dominated-north/
Serbia – 11 October 2021
The UN court in The Hague granted Serbian police general Sreten Lukic early release on the condition that he does not deny the crimes he committed during the Kosovo war or any other crimes committed during the Yugoslav conflicts.
Bosnia and Hercegovina – 12 October 2021
A Former Bosnian Serb Army soldier, Radovan Veljovic, pleaded not guilty to committing rape and sexual abuse in the Foca area of south-east Bosnia during the war in 1992. The trial is set to begin in the next couple of months.
Kosovo – 12 October 2021
Five Kosovo Albanians were remanded in custody for 30 days after being arrested on suspicion of planning to stage terrorist attacks in the country. Prosecution documents show that the five suspects are alleged to have had different roles within the suspected terrorist group – four of them are suspected of planning attacks. In contrast, another is suspected of the unauthorised import, export and supply of weapons and explosive devices.
Bosnia and Herzegovina – 13 October 2021
The Republika Srpska president Zeljka Cvijanovic’s decree saying that the Serb-dominated entity will not enforce a law imposed by Bosnia and Herzegovina’s top international official banning the denial of genocide, if this incites hatred or violence, came into force on 13 October.
Serbia – 14 October 2021
Ratko Kovacevic, a medical expert, commissioned by the court to analyse the psychological condition of the witness Mitrasin Glisic, told at the trial of four Serb ex-fighters at Belgrade Higher Court that the witness does not have any mental illnesses.
Kosovo – 14 October 2021
After the violence in North of Kosovo between local Serbs and Kosovo police conducting an anti-smuggling operation, where journalists were also attacked by protesters, Kosovo and Serbian journalist associations have called for safety measures for their colleagues. Several international journalists’ associations called on Kosovo to provide a more secure environment for journalists following the attack by protesters.
Montenegro – 14 October 2021
Montenegro's State Prosecution is being urged to investigate the former police management's ties to the Belivuk crime group after two police officers were accused of lifting the ban of his entry into Montenegro in January. The media reported that the prosecution opened the case after the Interior Ministry’s secretary, Rade Milosevic, filed a criminal complaint of abuse of authority by the police officers.