Entries in Bosnia (11)


Alleged Bosnian War Criminal Arrested in Upstate New York

Photodisc/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(UTICA, N.Y.) -- Federal law enforcement Wednesday arrested a man they say is wanted in Bosnia and Herzegovina for war crimes he committed nearly 20 years ago.

A native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Suleman Mujagic, 50, now faces extradition and charges that stem from his actions during a 1995 battle in which he was commanding a platoon in the Army of the Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia.  The charges allege Mujagic, a lawful U.S. resident living in Utica, N.Y. at the time of his arrest, murdered a captured soldier and tortured another captured soldier, both fighting on behalf of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Hillary Clinton Talks About Sandy's Impact on Her Home State of New York

State Department Photo/Public Domain(SARAJEVO, Bosnia) -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke to U.S. embassy staff in Bosnia Tuesday and described the impact Hurricane Sandy has had on New York State where she once served as a senator.   She praised the unity of New Yorkers and how they’re working together in the wake of the storm.

"I'm sure many of the Americans here were likewise quite concerned and especially if you have family and friends up and down our East coast. But I represented New York, as some of you may know, for eight years in the United States Senate," Clinton told the embassy staff Tuesday.

Sec. Clinton expressed her love for New York, particularly New York City, which was left devastated by Sandy along with New Jersey and several other states in the region. The secretary of state said she hoped Bosnians could learn from Americans on the East Coast and their ability to work together to rebuild.

"I love that city, I love that state. And I could not help it thinking there it was, this horrible emergency that mother nature had inflicted upon us. And I know that city well, and when I saw the reports of the firefighters in Breezy Point, Queens or in downtown Manhattan, I could see in my mind's eye, not only the buildings and the place, but the people --  more than eight million people from everywhere in the world, governing themselves, electing their leaders, working together, living, breathing, progressing. That's what I want for this country."

Sec. Clinton and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton made the joint visit to Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo Tuesday. In Sarajevo, they also met members of Bosnia's presidency to discuss issues regarding governance, budgeting and ownership of state property.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mayoral Candidate Banned from Ballot for Using Porn in Campaign

@MiradHadziahmet/Twitter(ZENICA, Bosnia) -- A candidate for mayor in a Bosnian city was thrown off the ballot Friday for spicing up his campaign by including porn on his website.

Mirad Hadziahmetovic vowed to appeal the ruling.

"The electoral commission ordered I remove adult (R-rated clips) within three hours, so I did it," Hadziahmetovic told ABC News. "I will appeal tomorrow. We will know the outcome by Wednesday or Thursday."

He also considers his unorthodox tactic a success.

"I made a name for myself with this provocative campaign and now people do know about my mayoral program," he said.

Hadziahmetovic, 43, an independent mayoral candidate in the Muslim dominated town of Zenica in central Bosnia, uploaded several porn clips to his official website in hopes of bringing in some traffic.

Visitors to Hadziahmetovic's site were asked to answer a few questions about Zenica's economy and public policies and verify their age. One example: "What is more important for Zenica, job creation or increasing the municipal budget through taxes?"

After answering Hadziahmetovic's questions, they could then open the erotica. And following every explicit clip, Hadziahmetovic appeared on camera saying, "If you liked this clip, vote for me."

Hadziahmetovic's site crashed under the traffic generated by thousands of eager viewers when it first went live last week, although it's not clear whether the enthusiastic response was an endorsement of his municipal policies.

But Bosnia's electoral commission did not like it and banned his candidacy saying in a statement Friday that he "violated Bosnia's electoral law by publishing pornographic photos and video clips during the electoral campaign."

Hadziahmetovic, who was born a Muslim but says he is an atheist, is a businessman and a rookie politician. He told ABC News that his tactic was meant to be "provocative."

"I guess people like it," he said shortly before the electoral commission made its ruling, adding that because of his web site "electoral participation would go up greatly."

Lustful advertising was not the only unorthodox ingredient in his campaign. His political slogans were unconventional, particularly for this overwhelmingly Muslim city with a reputation of one of the most religious places in Bosnia. "Tehran or Hollywood?" one ad asks, adding, "The choice is yours! "

Zenica is the fifth largest city in Bosnia with a population of more than 90,000 people. The election will take place on Oct. 7.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


German Teen Enslaved Eight Years by Bosnian Couple, Officials Say

(Karavlasi, BOSNIA) -- When Sead Makalic saw his neighbors' stepdaughter being whipped as she was forced to pull their cart as though she were a horse, he was so shocked he reported it to the police in his village in northeast Bosnia.

Makalic's call -- and the photograph he took of her as proof -- led to the liberation of a German teen who Bosnian authorities say was enslaved for eight years by a couple who subjected her to inhumane treatment and torture.

"Acting on a tip, police freed the 19-year-old woman, Betina, who had been enslaved and abused for some eight years," Admir Arnautovic, the spokesman for the prosecutor's office in Tuzla, told ABC News. "The girl was not allowed to communicate with people, was not allowed to go to school, was starved, beaten and forced to hard labor."

Milenko Marinkovic, 52, and his wife Slavojka, 45, were arrested on May 17 on suspicion of illegal imprisonment and cruel treatment.

The young woman is now in a safe house in Tuzla, but is in a bad psychological and physical state, officials said. When she was found in a forest near the village, she weighed only 88 pounds.

"She had visible signs of torture all over her body" Arnautovic said. "I've been in this business for a long time, and this is the first time I've ever seen anything of this nature."

Makalic, a neighbor, who has become something of a national hero, said he has known the girl since she arrived to Bosnia, when he was helping Marinkovics build his house in their village of Karavlasi, in northeast Bosnia.

"I did not pay much attention to the girl, but then I saw her several years ago when she was eating pig food from a dog bowl," Makalic said.

It is unclear how much the other residents of the village knew about Betina, even though she lived in the village for eight years.

Makalic said Milenko Marinkovic, whose family is of Roma origin, was not the girl's father but was once married to her mother, Kristina Siger, who is a German citizen from Halle.

It is believed that Betina's mother married him to help him get a German residence permit. Siger arrived in Bosnia with Betina and four other daughters, who all married Markovic's brothers and live abroad in Germany or Austria.

Betina's mother lives near where the girl was being held captive, and is being questioned regarding her role, the prosecutor's spokesman said.

Makalic called the police about the girl before, but the couple "managed to hide the girl from authorities," he said.

He did not see Betina again for a year, but when he spotted her again on May 15, he took a picture of her with his cell phone and called the police again.

"This time it worked," he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


ICE Deports Human Rights Violator to Bosnia for Crimes Against Humanity

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- Dejan Radojkovic, a former Bosnian-Serb police commander, Wednesday was deported to his native country, Bosnia and Herzegovina, for genocide crimes and atrocities against the Bosnian people. The deportation concluded a successful effort by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement office (ICE) that investigated the case.

“I applaud the outstanding work by ICE attorneys, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, and ERO officers in bringing a successful conclusion to this case. We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure our country does not serve as a haven for human rights violators and others who have committed heinous acts,” ICE Director John Morton said Thursday in a statement.
Upon arriving in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo Thursday, Radojkovic, 61, was immediately turned over to Bosnian law enforcement officials.
A former Las Vegas resident, Radojkovic faces charges for his role in the Srebrenica genocide. The genocide took place over the course of several days in July 1995 when thousands of Bosnian Muslims, mainly men and boys, were led to a “safe area” and then executed.
Authorities allege that Radojkovic used his position as a commander in the Special Forces Brigade to carry out the crimes.

ICE worked closely with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Bosnian and Herzegovina prosecution as well as international court to complete the removal of Radojkovic from the United States.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Angelina Jolie Named Honorary Citizen of Bosnian Capital

ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua(SARAJEVO, Bosnia) -- The capital of Bosnia has named Angelina Jolie an honorary citizen because of her work on the film In the Land of Blood and Honey.

According to E! Online, officials in Sarajevo will honor Jolie at a ceremony on May 3 in recognition of her role in maintaining the "truth" about the 1990s Bosnian War, which served as a backdrop to In the Land of Blood and Honey. The film represented Jolie's directorial debut.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Bosnia Remembers Sarajevo, 20 Years Later

Clark Bentson/ABC News(SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina) -- Bosnia on Friday is remembering the 20th anniversary of the start of a civil war that saw the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II.

Exhibitions, concerts and performances will be held in Sarajevo to commemorate the 44-month siege that began on April 6, 1992 and displaced millions. 

Hundreds of rows of empty red chairs -- 11,541 in all -- have been laid out through the town's center to represent every person who was killed in the war.  A section of tiny chairs was also installed to honor the hundreds of children who died.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Gunman Opens Fire Outside US Embassy in Sarajevo

Comstock/Thinkstock(SARAJEVO, Bosnia) -- The U.S. embassy in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo was locked down Friday, after shots were fired outside the building, injuring at least two officers.

The gunman, identified by Bosnian media as 23-year-old Serbian Mevlid Jasarevic, is a suspected radical Islamist, according to Britain's Daily Mail. Photos of Jasarevic show him clenching an AK-47-style assualt rifle and shooting at random civilians and police.

The Bosnian president reportedly believes the shooting spree to be an act of terrorism.

Police sharpshooters shot and wounded Jaserevic, who was arrested on site.  After being treated on the scene, he was hospitalized.
The area has been sealed off and a search is underway for any possible accomplices.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Accused Bosnian War Criminal Mladic Tossed Out of Court

Serge Ligtenberg/Getty Images(THE HAGUE, Netherlands) -- Any hope that the trial of former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic would be free of histrionics was dashed Monday when a judge tossed the defendant out of court in The Hague, Netherlands for being disruptive.

Mladic, accused of war crimes during the 1992-95 Bosnian War, shouted over Judge Alphons Orie as he tried to enter not guilty pleas on the defendant's behalf.

Shouting "I’m not going to listen to this," Mladic argued that he would not plead to any charges without the lawyer of his choice.  Mladic also angered the judge by trying to keep his military-style cap on after being told to take it off.

Judge Orie eventually had enough of the defendant's defiance and ordered him removed from the courtroom, whereupon he entered the not guilty pleas on Mladic's behalf.

Mladic faces numerous counts of genocide and other atrocities, including charges he supervised the 1995 massacre that killed 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Ratko Mladic Appears Before Tribunal; Declines to Enter Plea

Serge Ligtenberg/Getty Images(THE HAGUE, Netherlands) -- Former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic appeared before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague Friday, where prosecutors outlined the 11-count indictment against him for genocide and war crimes.

After the charges were read to him, Mladic, speaking through a translator, said he was a "gravely ill man" and needed more time understand them.  He refused to enter a plea to the charges, which he called "monstrous" and "obnoxious."

"I was just defending my country," Mladic said.

Mladic was indicted by the United Nations tribunal for war crimes that include the 1992 campaign of ethnic cleansing in eastern Bosnia, the establishment of concentration camps in northwest Bosnia, the three-year siege of Sarajevo, the taking of U.N. hostages in 1995 during NATO airstrikes, and the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

He now has 30 days to review the charges and enter a plea.  If he does not, the tribunal's judges will enter not guilty pleas for him.

The next hearing is scheduled for July 4.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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