GENERAL DIVJAK DETAINED INSTEAD OF GENERAL MLADIĆ
The International Institute for Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) in Ljubljana, Slovenia, regularly analyses events in the Middle East and the Balkans. IFIMES has prepared an analysis of the current events related to the detention of the former General of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina Jovan Divjak on 3 March 2011 in Vienna, examining the implications of his detention for the situation in the West Balkan region and for the relations between Austria and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The most interesting sections from the comprehensive analysis entitled "GENERAL DIVJAK DETAINED INSTEAD OF GENERAL MLADIĆ" are given below.
Detention of the former General of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina Jovan Divjak (73) on 3 March 2011 in Vienna represents a new violation of the international law and the jurisdiction of ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia) by the Republic of Serbia. In its relations with the international judicial institutions Serbia has assumed the strategy of ignoring those institutions in order to disable the activities of Bosnia and Herzegovina aimed at proving Serbia's responsibility for war crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to revise the history of events in 1990s and Serbia's role in those events.
The IFIMES International Institute has found out that the incriminating dossier against general Jovan Divjak was compiled in the military-investigation intelligence services and the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army in Belgrade and submitted to Republika Srpska (RS) in 2002 with the request that RS refers the dossier containing evidence against the suspects of the alleged crime committed in Dobrovoljačka street in Sarajevo on 3 May 1992 to ICTY for evaluation and opinion in line with the Rules of the Road under the Rome Agreement.
The criminal complaint against General Jovan Divjak was submitted to the Yugoslav Army General Staff on 17 May 1993 by lieutenant colonel Danko Simić who was at the same time the secretary of the team for collecting information on war crimes at the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army. The investigation was initiated on 21 July 1994 with the decision issued by the investigating magistrate and major of Yugoslav Army Zdravko Petrović. After the military investigation court in Belgrade referred the complete dossier, which contained statements of several security officers and Yugoslav People's Army/Yugoslav Army generals, from Milutin Kukanjac to Aleksandar Vasiljević, to the Military Prosecutor on 31 January 2002, the Serbian Government reached a decision to submit the dossier to ICTY for evaluation and opinion through Republika Srpska. The dossier was submitted to ICTY in the Hague in July 2002 by expedited procedure through the Secretariat for Cooperation of Republic of Srpska.
ICTY CLOSED THE "DIVJAK CASE"
ICTY informed the Serbian liaison officer to ICTY Trivun Jovičić on 17 June 2003 through the letter no. 036344/CDP/RR110 signed by Carla Del Ponte (the copy of ICTY document is attached below) that it does not possess enough evidence according to international standards for general Jovan Divjak to be held responsible for the serious violation of international humanitarian law, concluding that Dobrovoljačka case is in fact an insinuation of Belgrade, and if there is an eventual responsibility, then it is general Milutin Kukanjac who is responsible for the then ongoing arrest of the president of the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina Alija Izetbegović. The opinion of ICTY has been passed to RS and according to the available information through RS also to Belgrade. The issuing of international warrants by Serbia against General Divjak and others has become a question of abuse of the European Extradition Convention, which was signed among others by Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Austria, and the agreement between Serbia (SFRY) and Austria on legal assistance in criminal matters signed by the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Austria on 1 February 1982, which entered into force in 1984 (Official Gazette of SFRY, International Agreements, No. 2/1983).
A question that arises is also the one about the responsibility of the authorities of the Republic of Austria, namely why they did not respect the position and opinion of Interpol which suspended the so-called Serbian red warrants in the beginning of July 2009 and demanded an audit of the bilateral request of Serbia for the arrest of Divjak and others, as well as the opinion of ICTY, bearing in mind the sensitivity of the whole case.
This week the Republic of Austria will analyse secret investigations and dossiers of the former Yugoslav People's Army/Yugoslav Army – the army that took part in the most hideous crimes since WWII – and its dossiers that were submitted fraudulently through Republika Srpska to ICTY for evaluation.
The IFIMES International Institute believes that the competent authorities of the Republic of Austria should respect the opinion of ICTY and Interpol and that they should immediately suspend Serbian warrants in the Dobrovoljačka case and free General Divjak.
In the backstage Serbia is using all of its lobbying efforts to achieve the extradition of General Divjak to Serbia. Paradoxically, the loudest in demanding Divjak's extradition is Serbian Minister of the Interior Ivica Dačić, former minister of the intelligence ("Goebbels regime") under Milošević's brutal regime. Under dubious circumstances Dačić was removed from the US "blacklist" two years ago, and he even participated at the last two Prayer Breakfasts in the White House. Instead of arresting the main war crimes suspect Ratko Mladić, general of the army of Republika Srpska who was the most responsible person for the genocide in Srebrenica in July 1995, Serbian police minister Dačić has initiated the proceedings for the arrest of General Jovan Divjak, one of the holders of defence of Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Dačić is the symbol of Milošević's regime which committed numerous crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region and was the active participator in many events, especially in the prosecution of unfavourable journalists.
Had Serbia carried out lustration, Ivica Dačić would surely have been permanently disqualified from performing any public function. It is preposterous that Dačić is still performing the function of Vice Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior and that according to some sources he is even mentioned as one of the candidates for the future prime minister of the Republic of Serbia. President Tadić and the former Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) made a mistake when they failed to initiate the lustration of Milošević's followers and high representatives of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) according to the German model where the National Socialist Party was prohibited and principal officials of the Third Reich were prosecuted.
The IFIMES International Institute is of the opinion that the US Administration should review its decision to remove Ivica Dačić from its blacklist and the circumstances under which he was removed from that list, bearing in mind that pursuant to American laws it is strictly prohibited to lobby for the removal from the blacklist. It should also examine whether the controversial American ambassador William D. Montgomery, who has been providing advice and granting favour to suspicious persons in Serbia and the region for many years, was also involved in those activities. IFIMES also believes that the EU should examine its relations with Minister Dačić, who is considered by some criminal circles within the EU as the holder of European integration and democratic changes in Serbia, while his role in the illegal armament of Dodik's regime in Republika Srpska is still not clear.
The IFIMES International Institute urges the EU and the USA to re-examine their attitude towards certain politicians from the West Balkan region, such as Ivica Dačić and the likes.
TADIĆ-DAČIĆ-DODIK TOGETHER AGAINST BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Bosnia and Herzegovina and its citizens have become hostages to their own Public Prosecutor's Office. All the cases with over 1000 names of Bosnian-Herzegovinian citizens, which were rejected by the Prosecutor's Office at the Hague tribunal, were taken to Belgrade by Dodik's confidant and the head of the Republic of Srpska Association of Prisoners of War Camps Branislav Dukić, where they were – with the support of Serbian President Boris Tadić – submitted to the special War Crimes Prosecutor of the Republic of Serbia Vladimir Vukčević. Thus we have come to the situation where both the Serbian and Bosnian-Herzegovinian prosecutors deal in the same way with the processing of Bosnian-Herzegovinian citizens. It is a real nonsense that both prosecutors are requesting the extradition of General Divjak from Austria, when they both as well as the OHR are aware that the Prosecutor's Office at the Hague tribunal rejected the allegations of the crimes committed by General Divjak and others in the Dobrovoljačka case. The basic responsibility for the present situation lies with the Public Prosecutor of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who should have stopped all further investigations already in 2003 after it received the negative opinion from the Hague Prosecutor's Office regarding the Bosnian-Herzegovinian leaders, General Divjak and others, as well as with the international community which is represented in Bosnia and Herzegovina by OHR. We are actually talking about organised undermining of Bosnia and Herzegovina carried out by Tadić, Dačić and Dodik.
BOSNIAN-HERZEGOVINIAN STATE AUTHORITIES HAVE TO LAUNCH A DIPLOMATIC OFFENSIVE
Interpol passed a resolution in November 2010 in Doha (Qatar) in which it abolished provisional measures suspending Serbian warrants against Bosnian-Herzegovinian patriots, after which the "hunting season" against Bosnian-Herzegovinian citizens was opened again. The state authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina must promptly submit to Interpol a new claim for permanent suspension of all warrants issued in Serbia. They should also launch a diplomatic offensive and inform all the states with which Serbia has concluded bilateral agreements that pending the final decision is adopted by Interpol they should not take any actions or proceedings against the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina related to politically motivated warrants that are being constantly issued by Serbia.
The detention of General Divjak may also have negative repercussions on bilateral relations between Austria and Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially on Austrian investments and companies operating in this country.
Despite the abolishment of visas, the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Croatia will not be able to travel safely to EU member states after tens of thousands politically motivated warrants were issued by the Belgrade regime, which will lead to the decrease in travelling within the West Balkan region and the creation of the general feeling of insecurity due to a flood of unfounded Serbian warrants.
Copy of the ICTY document dated 17 June 2003:
Ljubljana, 5 March 2011