Transcript of the International Agencies’ Joint Press Conference

OHR, Sanela Tunovic

OSCE, Aida Besic

EUPM, Monja Koluder

EUFOR, Jem Thomas



OHR Calls on FBiH Parliamentarians to Adopt the Law on RT

OHR calls upon the Federation of BiH Parliament to adopt
the Law on RT FBiH, fully harmonized with the PBS System Law. This issue is
scheduled to be discussed by both Housesthis week. OHR reminds the Federation
parliamentariansthat the BiH Parliament has already put in place a


Law on Public Broadcasting
System and a harmonized State Law on Public Brodcasting Service, BHRT.

The FBiH Parliament must show leadership in this issue, and make it clearthat
the Government version of the draft law, with its wording on the founder
concept,is in contradiction with the State Framework Law, is unacceptable. We
very much hope that the Parliament will delete this clause. If they do not, FBiH
authorities are putting at risk two things – the PBS reform as such and the
fulfillment of animportant precondition forBiH inthe
SAA process

The Federation authorities and the authorities of Republika Srpska are
already two months late in fulfilling this harmonization requirement.


House of Representatives’ Amendments on Minor
Offences Must Be Rejected

The Principal Deputy High Representative, Larry Butler, called on the FBiH
House of Peoples (HoP) to support legislation at their session tomorrow that
will modernize the way in which BiH deals with minor offences.

“Reforming the minor offence courts is a key element in
consolidating the Rule of Law in BiH,” Ambassador Butler said. Asking the
FBiH taxpayer to maintain 71 minor offence courts as a separate structure to the
existing court system is unacceptable.” Ambassador Butler noted that, “some of
these courts barely have enough cases to keep their employees occupied, and yet
the court system throughout the FBiH desperately needs investment in
infrastructure and technology that will speed up the application of

Ambassador Butler emphasized that the Law on Courts originally proposed
by the FBiH Government was absolutely sound. It located the Minor
Offence Courts with the regular courts, which meant savings could be used to
improve the court system as a whole.  However, last week the FBiH
House of Representatives (HoR) altered the Government’s version. The
version adopted by the HoR doesn’t create the savings envisaged in the FBiH
Government’s version. It is therefore crucial that the House of Peoples
accepts the Government’s version  – that way, through
harmonization, taxpayers’ money can still be saved.

At their session last week the FBiH HoR also adopted several amendments the
draft Law on Minor Offences that, as well as maintaining a separate minor
offence structure, introduce imprisonment as a sanction for a minor offence –
though this is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights – and
that make court procedures longer and more complex. “These amendments have
to be rejected if this reform is to succeed,” Ambassador Butler said.


SDHR in Banja

The SDHR, Peter Bas-Backer, will pay his first, two-day official visit to


tomorrow, 8 March. During
his visit, Ambassador Bas-Backer will meet with members of the newly appointed
RS Government and other RS officials. Media details will follow during the day



No statement.



BG Coppola commends recent action of SBS Trebinje

Brigadier General VincenzoCoppola would like to commend the State Border
Service for professional police work, good management of the case and good
cooperation between all involved agencies, in a recent action conducted to fight
drugs smuggling in the area of Trebinje.

On 2 March, EUPM monitored the action and the investigation conducted in the
case of attempted drugs smuggling across BiH borders.  EUPM report
concluded that it was conducted properly by the local SBS members. “The two SBS
officers who were injured in this operation should be highly commended for
putting their lives at risk for the sake of protection of BiH borders and its
citizens”, said BG Coppola.

SBS is a crucial tool in fight against drugs smuggling and other types of
organized crime.  In this particular case, EUPM would like to note the
professional and efficient cooperation between the BiH law enforcement agencies
and the Ministry of Interior of

Republic of

Monte Negro

. This example clearly shows that an even
better cooperation between the police in BiH and other similar investigative
units throughout

Europe is crucial if BiH wants to curb
organized crime efficiently, as we are all aware of the fact that the crime is
never limited to the borders of one country.



No statement.



Zumra Arnautović, TV Hayat:

One question for the OHR. Did you ever recieve the information you requested
about the officers of the Republica Srpska Army who helped Mladić – this
question refers to the officers who were stationed in the military compound in
Han Pijesak at the time?


Office of the High Representative:

The only thing I can recall at this moment is that we last mentioned Mladić
sometime, I think, in December 2004 when we used the fact that even after he was
indicted for war crimes he still recieved his pension payments as evidence that
it is necessary to carry out reforms in the security sector. However, I am not
sure exactly which report you are referring to and basing your question on, so
it would be best if I get back to you later during the day after I check this