Transcript of the International Agencies’ Joint Press Conference

OHR, Mario Brkic
Mersiha Causevic

EUPM, Zinaida Ilaria
Tom Ryall
NATO, Dwight Mood





Pardons – No One Is Above the Law 


There has been considerable media
debate about executive pardons handed down by politicians to their political

The OHR believes that BiH politicians
in executive authority – in the most recent case this applies to Federation
President Niko Lozancic – should exercise the right to grant pardons only in
very exceptional circumstances. They s
hould be
particularly careful about issuing pardons to their political allies, when these
allies have been tried and convicted of abuse of office. Otherwise an
increasingly exasperated and public will reach the conclusion that some BiH
politicians still think they are living in an era when the powerful can do as
they wish and only the common people must obey the law.

That era has passed. Bosnia and
Herzegovina is governed by the rule of law. If a politician is convicted of a
crime, he should serve his time.

Mr Prce pled guilty to abuse of
funds, agreed this plea with the court and in return
was given
sentence of five
years, when it might have been 
a maximum of 14 years. The judge in
the case
recommended that in view of this plea
bargain a pardon would be utterly inappropriate. His party affiliation or ethnic
origin have nothing to do with the crime or the punishment.
Everyone, irrespective of position or ethnicity should
be equal before the law. 

The High Representative has
intervened once before in the case of an executive pardon, when he
the State Law on Pardon and the Entity Criminal Procedure Codes
, in the wake of a
similarly politically inspired pardon extended to Munib Jusufovic, former mayor
of Brcko, who had also been convicted of fraud
abuse of office


SDHR Ney to Speak on BiH Reconciliation Model


Martin Ney will be one of the opening speakers at a four-day conference on
reconciliation and human rights in BiH that opens this evening at Unitic in
Sarajevo. The conference is being organized by UNDP. Ambasador Ney will
highlight the importance of developing institutional means of promoting
reconciliation in BiH that reflect the character and culture of the country.
Each country that has gone through this process has adapted models that fit its
own needs, and Bi must do the same. We will be posting a copy of the speech on
the OHR website later today.



No statement.



No statement.



No statement.



No statement.




Ljiljana Ćoro, News agency SRNA:

I would like to inquire about the events that occurred in
Gradiška yesterday.  This question is for EUFOR.  Is an investigation
being conducted, as reports in the media mention that a thirteen year old boy
ran out of the car?  What did actually happen?


If you’re referring to the car accident that happened on
Sunday night, well EUFOR is not going to speculate on anything.  The facts
are there was a car accident involving a EUFOR vehicle.  Two EUFOR soldiers
were slightly injured in the accident.  They were removed by a EUFOR
helicopter and later transferred to


hospital by local
ambulance.  Nobody else was involved in the accident.  EUFOR would
like to thank the local services for their assistance in transporting the two
soldiers to the hospital and other than that there are no other details, and I’m
not going to speculate on anything in the media on any other subject. 


Also a question for EUFOR:  I would like to inquire
about the cases of weapons found near Mostar.  Is EUFOR also participating
in the investigation and when will the weaponry be destroyed?


There was an operation undertaken yesterday which found a
fairly sizeable quantity of weapons and ammunitions.  I’m afraid your
question is still ongoing so I can’t offer any comments on what’s going to
happen from this stage on.  But I can confirm that EUFOR was involved in an
operation about 25 km north-east of Mostar, and other than that we’ve got no
details.  As and when those details become available we will then be able
to pass them on to you.

TV Hayat:

A question for the Office of the High Representative: Does
the OHR have an official document in relation to whether the pardoning in fact
really did occur?  Secondly, if they don’t and according to reports it
seems that they don’t, why have all the institutions, including the B&H
court and the OHR, reacted in such an official manner?  What I mean is that
until now you have never accepted media reports as true and reacted to them in
such a way.  Thank you. 


Well, in our statement we did make it clear that our
reaction is pertinent only if the reports are true, and that is why we have
allowed time for the president of the Federation to explain, to formally inform
us of the correct information.  If the reports are in fact true, you are
aware that the deadline is Friday the 19th and after that the High
Representative will decide what actions, if any, it will be necessary to take.