Wednesday, February 28, 2007

4 detained in connection with 1999 wartime killings of 3 Kosovo-Americans

5 ethnic Albanians charged with arson, looting in anti-Serb riots in Kosovo

PRISTINA, _Five ethnic Albanians were charged for allegedly burning down several buildings during anti-Serb riots in Kosovo three years ago, in the province's worst outbreak of violence since the end of the 1999 conflict, a U.N. official said Wednesday.

The suspects were charged with arson and looting in the outskirts of Kosovo's capital, Pristina, U.N. spokesman Neeraj Singh said. The prosecutor filed the indictment last week.

Ethnic Albanian mobs attacked the province's Serb minority in March 2004 riots. The two-day violence left 19 people dead, and some 4,000 people, mainly Serbs, were forced to flee. At least 600 Serb homes and 30 medieval churches were torched.

Singh said another 11 suspects _ 10 of whom are minors _ were still under pretrial investigation in the case.

The United Nations has administered Kosovo since a 1999 NATO air war to halt a Serb crackdown on separatist ethnic Albanians. About 10,000 ethnic Albanians were killed and hundreds of thousands were displaced during the war.

In the years after the war, many Serbs fell victim to vengeful ethnic Albanians.

A recent U.N. proposal to resolve the province's status _ drafted by former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari _ would give Kosovo internationally supervised self-rule, including a flag, anthem, army and constitution. The U.N. Security Council will have the final say on the proposal.

Serbia has rejected the U.N. plan, saying it would lead to the independence of a region it considers its historic heartland. Most ethnic Albanians have welcomed it.  

Serbia Makes New Arrests for Kosovo Killings

BELGRADE (Reuters) - Serbia has arrested four suspects in the killing in 1999 of three jailed U.S.-Albanian brothers who had joined a guerrilla war in the breakaway Kosovo province, Serbia's war crimes prosecutor said on Wednesday.

Belgrade media reported that five former or serving Serb policemen were arrested on Sunday, including a police colonel serving as deputy commander of the gendarmerie.

A spokesman for the war crimes prosecutor declined to confirm whether the suspects were policemen.

``The four will be handed over to the investigative judge today,'' he said.

Two former Serb policemen went on trial in Belgrade in November charged as co-perpetrators in the murder of Argon, Mehmet and Ilaj Bytyci, ethnic Albanian brothers with U.S. citizenship.

The brothers had strayed from Kosovo into Serb-controlled territory in late June 1999 days after NATO occupied Serbia's southern province following 78 days of bombing to drive out Serb forces accused of atrocities in a two-year war with guerrillas.

They were imprisoned for 17 days for illegal entry. On their release they were picked up by secret police, taken to another location and shot dead, their hands tied behind their backs with wire, according to the indictment.

Their bodies were found only in 2001 when reformers who had ousted late president Slobodan Milosevic in 2000 unearthed mass graves in Serbia containing the bodies of over 800 Kosovo Albanians. They were killed in the province and trucked north to conceal evidence of atrocities.

The police chief at the time of the killings, Vlastimir Djordjevic, is suspected of having ordered the Bytyci killings. He has been indicted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague and is believed to be hiding in Russia. 

4 detained in connection with 1999 wartime killings of 3 Kosovo-Americans

JOVANA GEC

     Associated Press

Date: February 28, 2007

BELGRADE, Serbia_Four new suspects have been detained in connection with the 1999 wartime killings of three Kosovo-Americans whose bodies were found dumped in a mass grave, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Illy, Mehmet and Agron Bytyqi _ U.S. citizens of Kosovo origin _ were killed in the summer of 1999 after going to Kosovo to join the separatist rebellion against Serb rule.

The three had gone to fight with the so-called Atlantic brigade, which included Kosovo-Americans of ethnic Albanian origin.

Arrested after straying into southern Serbia in June 1999, the Bytyqis were sentenced to 15 days in prison. But they later were taken from detention and executed, allegedly by Serb police. Their bodies were dumped in a mass grave with the bodies of other ethnic Albanians.

Four men are being investigated for their alleged roles in the killings, prosecutor's spokesman Bruno Vekaric told The Associated Press. He gave no other details.

The Beta news agency said the four previously testified at an ongoing trial of two Serb commandos already charged with the slaying.

Separatists seeking independence for the predominantly ethnic Albanian province fought Serb forces from 1996-1999 until a NATO air campaign forced an end to the Serb crackdown and brought Kosovo under U.N. administration. Kosovo's future status is now being decided at U.N.-brokered talks.

U.S. authorities have put pressure on Serbia to punish those responsible for the crime following the ouster of late ex-President Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. Vekaric said the probe will continue.  

Bosnian Serbs apologise for war crimes

BANJA LUKA, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Feb 28, 2007 (AFP) - The Bosnian Serb government apologised Wednesday to Muslim and Croat victims of war crimes during the country's brutal 1992-1995 conflict.

The apology comes two days after the UN's top court, the International Court of Justice, found Serbia guilty of failing to prevent genocide by Bosnian Serb forces during the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

The government of Bosnia's Serb-run half, Republika Srpska, "expresses its deepest regret for the war crimes committed against non-Serbs during the war in Bosnia," it said in a statement.

It also called on Muslim and Croat leaders to "do the same in order to ensure a better future for all peoples and citizens of Bosnia."

Authorities in Republika Srpska would continue to "make maximum efforts to apprehend remaining people responsible for these crimes, notably for the crimes committed in Srebrenica," it added.

In its ruling on Monday, the international court based in The Hague cleared Serbia of direct involvement in genocide during the war, but said Belgrade had breached international law over the Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Muslim males.

Serb forces took control of the eastern town of Srebrenica, then a UN-protected enclave, in the final months of the war before summarily killing around 8,000 Muslim men and boys within a few days.

The massacre is the single worst atrocity in post-war Europe.

Its main culprits, Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic and his army chief Ratko Mladic, remain at large. Mladic is believed to be hiding in Serbia and Karadzic in Montenegro or Serb-controlled parts of Bosnia.  

Serbia's liberals propose parliamentary resolution apologizing for Bosnian massacre

Source: AP WorldStream English (all) Date: February 28, 2007

BELGRADE, Serbia_A Serbian liberal coalition said Wednesday it will propose a parliamentary resolution apologizing for the massacre of thousands of Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica in 1995.

The resolution would be in line with a World Court ruling earlier this week which cleared Serbia of committing genocide during Bosnia's 1992-95 war, but said the Balkan country did nothing to prevent the massacre of more than 7,000 men and boys by Bosnian Serb troops in the U.N.-protected Bosnian Muslim enclave, Cedomir Jovanovic, the leader of the Liberal-Democratic Party, said.

A call earlier this week by Serbia's pro-Western President Boris Tadic for the adoption of such a resolution has triggered deep resentment by Serbia's nationalist groups which said that any such decree must include all victims of the Bosnian war, including Serbs who started the civil conflict that resulted in at least 100,000 dead and millions displaced.

"The resolution will be an opportunity to clarify in the parliament who are democrats in Serbia, and who are not," said Zarko Korac, another Liberal coalition official, alluding to the ruling conservative party of current Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica which was once considered reformist, but is now leaning more toward ultranationalism.

The draft of the resolution, which will be handed to Serbia's parliament for a vote, said Serbia "offers its sincere apology and deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the genocide in Srebrenica and to all the citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina who were the victims of the crimes committed in our name."

It was not clear when the vote would be held in the assembly, which is dominated by nationalists opposed to reconciliation with other ethnic groups that lived together in Yugoslavia before it broke up in bloody civil war in the 1990s.  

Belgium vows to block EU shift on Serbia

By Mark John

BRUSSELS, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Belgium has vowed to block moves by some EU states to soften the bloc's stance on Serbia, saying Belgrade must still show it is serious about handing over war criminals before it can enjoy closer ties.

Full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has been the key condition for the EU resuming preliminary membership talks with Serbia frozen last year amid accusations of foot-dragging by Belgrade.

However, diplomats say a number of EU states believe a softer line would serve to encourage pro-European forces after last month's inconclusive elections, and help Serbia stomach an expected loss of sovereignty over breakaway Kosovo province.

Belgium, and the neighbouring Netherlands -- which hosts the ICTY -- are now seen holding most strictly to the line that the EU should only restart talks once U.N. war crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte has said Belgrade is fully cooperating with her.

"In the past, we have respected her authority and now all of a sudden we should be put in a position where we say, 'we don't respect your authority anymore'," Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht said in an interview late on Tuesday.

"If you start doing that, it means international law is void. We can really not accept that," he told Reuters.

Any decision to restart talks with Belgrade on a so-called Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) -- the first rung on the ladder to EU membership -- would have to be unanimously backed by the EU's 27 member states.

Spain, Italy and a number of eastern European states closer to Serbia are among those most overtly pushing for a softening of EU criteria for restarting talks, and diplomats say their arguments have begun to gain ground more widely.

HOURS OF WRANGLING

Asked if Belgium and the Netherlands could hold their line in the face of pressure to budge, De Gucht said he had been assured by Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen on Monday that the Netherlands was determined not to shift.

"He confirmed they will also stick to this position and that they will certainly not change that position."

The most high-profile litmus test of Belgrade's resolve on war crimes is whether it helps bring to justice Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic, indicted for genocide over the 1995 massacre of some 7,000 Muslims in Srebrenica.

Del Ponte -- who has complained that many EU leaders and ministers are "too busy" to see her -- said this month that cooperation from Belgrade was now non-existent.

EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels two weeks ago wrangled for hours about the wording of a statement on Serbia before agreeing that SAA talks could resume with Belgrade "provided it shows clear commitment and takes concrete and effective action for full cooperation with ICTY".

De Gucht rejected some interpretations that the statement left open the door for EU states themselves to decide on whether any new Serb government was deemed sufficiently cooperative.

"That is what some tried to do but we have, I think, effectively blocked that and I cannot agree to it...That (full cooperation) has to be asserted by Del Ponte," he said.

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5 comments:

Bg anon said...

This is a good sign on the Bytyqi case.

bytycci said...

Yeah it is. Also the charges against those people in Kosovo are good news.

Bg anon said...

I should add that General Vlastimir Djordjevic still remains at large in Russia and that 'Guri' Radosavljevic is either in Libya or China.

Both are wanted in connection with this case. Oh, because of serious US involvement, these men would not be able to hide in Serbia as Mladic was doing until recently. I say until recently because this is provable. Mladic may still be in Serbia I dont know.

'Also the charges against those people in Kosovo are good news.'

Yes it is.

lpcyusa said...

Irrefutable Proof ICTY Is Corrupt Court/Irrefutable Proof the Hague Court Cannot
Legitimately Prosecute Karadzic Case

http://lpcyu.instablogs.com/entry/nato-says-the-hague-tribunal-or-icty-belongs-to-nato-
truth-bites-for-te-hague-lately/

http://picasaweb.google.com/lpcyusa/ViewMyHagueInternationalCriminalCourtPreparat

oryDocumentsFromThe2001UnitedNations#
(The Documentary Secret United Nations ICC Meeting Papers Scanned Images)

This legal technicality indicates the Hague must dismiss charges against Dr karadzic and
others awaiting trials in the Hague jail; like it or not.

Unfortunately for the Signatures Of the Rome Statute United Nations member states
instituting the ICC & ICTY housed at the Hague, insofar as the, Radovan Karadzic, as
with the other Hague cases awaiting trial there, I personally witnessed these United
Nations member states openly speaking about trading judicial appointments and verdicts
for financial funding when I attended the 2001 ICC Preparatory Meetings at the UN in
Manhattan making the iCTY and ICC morally incapable trying Radovan Karazdic and
others.

I witnessed with my own eyes and ears when attending the 2001 Preparatory Meetings to
establish an newly emergent International Criminal Court, the exact caliber of criminal
corruption running so very deeply at the Hague, that it was a perfectly viable topic of
legitimate conversation in those meetings I attended to debate trading verdicts AND
judicial appointments, for monetary funding.

Jilly wrote:*The rep from Spain became distraught and when her country’s proposal was
not taken to well by the chair of the meeting , then Spain argued in a particularly loud
and noticably strongly vocal manner, “Spain (my country) strongly believes if we
contribute most financial support to the Hague’s highest court, that ought to give us and
other countries feeding it financially MORE direct power over its
decisions.”

((((((((((((((((((((((((( ((((((((((((((((((((((((( Instead of censoring the country representative
from Spain for even bringing up this unjust, illegal and unfair judicial idea of bribery for
international judicial verdicts and judicial appointments, all country representatives
present in the meeting that day all treated the Spain proposition as a ”totally legitimate
topic” discussed and debated it between each other for some time. I was quite shocked!
The idea was "let's discuss it." "It's a great topic to discuss."

Some countries agreed with Spain’s propositions while others did not. The point here is,
bribery for judicial verdicts and judicial appointments was treated as a totally legitimate
topic instead of an illegitimate toic which it is in the meeting that I
attended in 2001 that day to establish the ground work for a newly emergent
international criminal court.))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

In particular., since "Spain" was so overtly unafraid in bringing up this topic of trading
financial funding the ICC for influence over its future judicial appointments and verdicts
in front of every other UN member state present that day at the UN, "Spain" must have
already known by previous experience the topic of bribery was "socially acceptable" for
conversation that day. They must have previously spoke about bribing the ICTY and ICC
before in meetings; this is my take an international sociological honor student.

SPAIN's diplomatic gesture of international justice insofar as, Serbia, in all of this is,
disgusting morally!

SPAIN HAS TAUGHT THE WORLD THE TRUE DEFINITION OF AN
"INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT."

lpcyusa said...

I remind everyone, when I attended those ICC Preparatory Meetings in 2001, witnessing
first hand the country plenipotentiary representatives present with me discussing so
openly, trading judicial funding of a new international criminal court, for its direct
judicial appointments and judicial verdicts, those same state powers were

concurrently,

those same countries and people were already simultaneously, funding the already
established ICTY which was issuing at that time, arrest warrants for Bosnian Serbs
under false primary diplomatic pretenses.

The ICTY and ICC is just where it should be for once.
Cornered and backed into and an international wall, scared like a corned animal (and I
bet it reacts in the same way a rabid cornered animal does too in such circumstances).
(ICTY associates)

http://picasaweb.google.com/lpcyusa/ViewMyHagueInternationalCriminalCourtPreparat

oryDocumentsFromThe2001UnitedNations#
(Evidence Agaisnt the ICTY)

http://picasaweb.google.com/lpcyusa/DuringTheTrialOfRamushHaradinajIn2006TheHag

ueWarCrimesTribunalForTheFormerYugoslavi#
(Documents: Hague war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has destroyed

all material evidence about the monsterous KLA Albanian/KLA organ trade in Kosovo)

I believe strongly that ICYU assocaites murdered former Serb President, Slobodan

Milosevic, tried to murder
me, as well and other Serbs prisoners and presently places , Doctor Radovan Karadzic’s
life in direct danger as well as Ratko Mladic’s life in danger should he be brought there.

The ICTY has no other choice than to halt all further court proceedings against, Doctor
Radovan Karadzic, and others there both serving sentences and awaiting trials.
Miss JIll Louise Starr (The UN Security Council has no choice but to act on this now).

I accuse the Hague ICTY war crimes tribunal of attempted assassination on my life and

others, contempt of court and obstruction of international justice and "international

witness tampering" in complicity with Richard Holbrook and Bill Clinton (Former US

President of the USA) as well as political playersin Spain and the Netherlands .

I represented the state interests' of the Former Yugoslavia, in Darko Trifunovic’s
absence in those meetings and I am proud to undertake this effort on Serbia’s behalf.