Transcript of the International Agencies’ Joint Press Conference

OHR, Vedran Persic

OSCE, Mersiha Causevic

EUPM, Zinaida Ilaria

EUFOR, Rolf Kurth

NATO, Derek Chappell

ICTY, Matias Hellman



HR to visit Banja

The High Representative, Paddy Ashdown, will tomorrow visit

Banja Luka

where he will meet
representatives of political parties. 

He will address the media following the meeting with RS President Dragan

He will note that the significant progress has been made so far in bringing
ICTY indicted war criminals to the Tribunal. Practical cooperation between



Banja Luka

has helped lead to the
transferal of six individuals to

The Hague

since beginning of the year.  However, all
indicted war criminals, including Karadzic and Mladic, must be brought to
justice without delay.  Region’s progress towards EU and NATO depends on
the will of the individual countries to fully cooperate with the ICTY.

The HR will note that olice reform is now one of the last remaining reforms
that must be undertaken beforestarting negotiations with the EU. Towards the end
of May the EC Consultative task force will arrive in BiH to assess BiH’s
progress on the 16 requirements of the Feasibility Study.

At the end of this month, parties will be convened to start formal
negotiations about police restructuring. They will need to convince the EU that
they are serious about reform that supports the EU’s three basic requirements.

First, to place exclusive competence for police legislation and budget at the
State level. Second, to recast regional police areas on the basis of functional
police criteria, and; Third, to help protect the police from improper political



Raising debate – Raising Standards Education Forums start today

The OSCE Mission to

Bosnia and Herzegovina

is launching a series of Education
Forums “Raising Debate – Raising Standards – An Education System that Works for
All”, beginning today. These events will allow citizens to take stock of
education reform progress and to discuss the effectiveness of education
structures in BiH. 

The Mini Forums will focus on:

12 April, Mostar: Improving education standards in school. This
mini forum will focus on the primary and secondary education system, securing
improved and equal standards for all students across BiH.

13 April, Banja Luka: Are BiH’s children educated in line with
international standards?
This mini forum will provide an opportunity for
discussion among education stakeholders, NGOs and representatives from the
International Community on where BiH currently stands in regard to the
implementation of its international obligations, as well as how the
implementtion of international standards directly affects children’s education.

15 April, Tuzla:
Who is taking us and how far have we gone towards
This mini forum will look at how BiH is progressing towards
the European Higher Education area, as foreseen by its Bologna Process
commitments. Key issues such as a BiH-wide quality assurance system, diploma
supplements, recognition of degrees, student mobility and employability,
university autonomy and governance, as well as modern higher education
legislation will be addressed.

The conclusions and recommendations from all three mini forums will be
presented at the 7th Education Forum in
Sarajevo on 23 April, 2005 .

OSCE Mission Heads in South-Eastern Europe to meet in

The Heads of OSCE Missions throughout South-Eastern Europe are gathering in


this week for an annual
meeting to discuss regional issues such as war crimes, property issues and other
matters of mutual concern.

The two-day meeting that starts on Thursday, 14 April, will bring together
Ambassadors from the OSCE field operations in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Serbia and Montenegro, Kosovo, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and
Albania. Last year’s meeting was held in

Representatives from the OSCE Secretariat and Conflict Prevention Centre in


as well as the Slovenian
Chairmanship will also join the heads of missions to review the progress of OSCE
programmes in the region.



EUPM commends State Border Service’s successful drug

European Union Police Mission would like to commend the State Border Service
for the largest drug seizure ever in the history of the state level law
enforcement agency.  The operation took place, with the support of EUFOR,
when the SBS’s officers stopped a car near Pavlovica Most, yesterday.  The
investigation now lies with the prosecutor. 

SBS as a regionally organized law enforcement agency, vested at the state
level, with a single budget, clear chain of command serves as an example how
this kind of system can fight major organized crime more effectively.

Commissioner Carty talks to
Sarajevo citizens
about police restructuring

The Head of the European Union Police Mission, Commissioner Kevin Carty
will open the public meeting on police restructuring, organized by EUPM and
OHR, which will take place today, 12 April 2005, at 1800 hrs, in Dom policije in

The Commissioner will use this opportunity to talk to


citizens about this crucial
reform process, hear about their concerns and answer their questions. Police
restructuring is one of the EU requirements and its implementation will have a
significant impact on the future of this country and it’s citizens. This process
is about creating professional police service, accountable to the citizens and
effective in fighting crime.

European Union Police Mission encourages citizens to attend this, and the
future public meetings, to inform themselves of this process and to take
active part in the discussion.

All media are kindly invited to cover this event. For more details, please
call Zinaida Ilaria at +387/33-752-889 or +387/61-144-310.



One of Bosnia and

’s Largest Ever Drug

BiH authorities, supported by EUFOR troops, stopped a car containing a large
quantity of drugs at a vehicle check point near Pavlovica Most yesterday. 
This was part of their ongoing cooperation against organised crime.  The
car contained packages of heroin weighing altogether some 52 kgs.

The vehicle was seized and suspects arrested.  They were taken to a
secure location for a further detailed search and questioning by the BiH
authorities. The State Prosecution Service was informed.

Given the significance of the seizure, EUFOR is assisting BiH authorities
with the security of the drugs and evidence.

An early estimate puts the street value of the heroin at several millions of

In addition to the drug seizure, EUFOR also assisted BiH authorities today in
arresting criminals involved in human smuggling.

EUFOR remains committed to supporting the BiH authorities and working in
close cooperation with other EU institutions in BiH to bear down on organised
crime and bring criminals to justice. This operation is a classic example of the
kind of teamwork that is common between EUFOR and BiH authorities, where
significant achievements support the rule of law and put pressure of those who
undermine the rule of law.



No Statement



Yesterday, Ranko Češić, sentenced to 18 years imprisonment for killings, rape
and other crimes  committed in Brčko in 1992, was transferred to a prison
in Denmark

This event, the departure of a convicted war criminal to serve his sentence,
is yet another indicator of the successful process of justice that is taking
place in The Hague.

Ranko Češić was a member of the Intervention Platoon of the Bosnian Serb
Police Reserve Corps at the Brcko police station. The crimes for which Ranko
Češić was convicted took place from

30 April 1992 onwards while Serb forces in


engaged in the take-over of the

municipality of


ko. Muslim and Croat residents of
Brcko were forcibly expelled and transferred to collection centres, included the
Luka detention facility and the Brcko Partizan Sports Hall.

Ranko Češić admitted to killing 10 persons in these camps, two of whom died
as a result of beatings, and to having forced two brothers to perform a sexual
act on each other. He committed all these crimes within a period of about one
month or less.

Ranko Češić was originally indicted together with Goran Jelisić. The Tribunal
in December 1999 convicted Jelisić to 40 years imprisonment, after he had
pleaded guilty to 31 counts of murder, infliction of bodily harm and other

The terrible crimes that Češić and Jelisić were convicted for were all
committed against helpless, detained individuals. These were not acts committed
in a battle situation. These were cruel acts that are plainly criminal,
regardless of the existence of an armed conflict. 

It is noteworthy that both Jelisić and Češić, despite the fact that they
pleaded guilty, and Češić additionally striking a plea agreement with the
Prosecution and showing genuine remorse, received sentences that are
exceptionally high compared to the general level of sentences handed for war
crimes by the courts in Bosnia and

Obviously, the Tribunal cannot try each perpetrator or prosecute every crime.
In the context of crimes committed in Brčko, Jelisić and Češić were chosen for
prosecution because they were mentioned by a large number of victims as
particularly notorious perpetrators. Evidence of crimes committed in Brčko has
also been presented by the prosecution in high-level cases such as those of
Slobodan Milošević and Momčilo Krajišnik.

The Tribunal will support the efforts of prosecutors both in the Brčko
District and the BiH Prosecutor’s Office to bring additional perpetrators to
justice for all crimes committed in the Brčko area, regardless of the ethnicity
of the victims or the perpetrators.



Here we go. One question.  Nick, BBC.

, BBC News:

A question for NATO. Is Miroslav Petrović being held by US forces in


? This
is the guy who claims he was protecting Ratko Mladić recently. And also to
EUFOR, you say several millions, I mean can we be more specific?  Is it two
or three million or ninety million? And was this just a random find, was it
just chance, or was this part of EUFOR’s new organized, anti organized crime
methods that you are adopting?

Derek Chappell, NATO:

If I answer first on the part of NATO, I read that report with interest this
morning as well, and I have no knowledge of such a person being held by NATO in

Nick Hawton, BBC News:

Or US forces?

Derek Chappell, NATO:

Well the

is part of NATO, either the


or NATO are
not holding that person. I have no knowledge of that.


I’d answer to your first question Nick. It’s impossible to estimate the
street value of an illegal substance, especially of this sort of
quantity. What I can tell you is that the 52 kilograms of heroin seized
yesterday was of very high quality, what I mean by that, it was virtually pure
heroin and once processed by the criminals, who were planning to distribute it,
it would have been worth several millions of euros on the streets of

Europe or wherever it was destined. To give it a
monetary value is virtually impossible I’m afraid. The second question was
it a chance find. It was part of the ongoing EUFOR operations against
organized crime. There were vehicle checkpoints set up around the border
region yesterday and I can’t go into any more detail about how that particular
vehicle was found.

Nick Hawton, BBC News:

So you were not looking for this vehicle? 


Sorry, say it again.

Nick Hawton, BBC News:

So you were not looking for this vehicle? 


I think as you understand I can’t confirm or deny that we had any sources,
for operational reasons, about this particular vehicle. The criminal
investigation is ongoing, so I’m unable to make any further comment about it I’m


Are there any more questions?  If not, thank you very much for
coming.  See you again.