BELGRADE, March 28, 2003
SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO - CE
SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO
KOSOVO - METOHIJA
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SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO - CE
SERBIA-MONTENEGRO ADMISSION TO CE START OF LONG PROCESS OF JOINING EU - CE OFFICIAL
PODGORICA, March 27 (Tanjug) - Council of Europe strategic planning Director Jean-Louis Laurent said Thursday in Podgorica that the forthcoming admission of Serbia-Montenegro (SCG) in the CE is not the end, but the beginning of the long process of its integration in the European Union. He told a press conference after meeting Montenegrin officials that the CE and the European Commission have initiated a project for fostering human rights and rule of law in SCG.
That project will last until 2005 and the EU has earmarked 1.5 million euros for it, Laurent said. A decision has also been taken to monitor to what extent SCG will be honoring its commitments entailed in CE membership, he said, noting that regular reports on this will be presented.
The admission of SCG in the CE constitutes support to its democratic and reform forces, Laurent said.
SERBIA-MONTENEGRO COUNCIL OF MINISTERS ADOPTS BILL ON RATIFICATION OF COUNCIL OF EUROPE STATUTE
BELGRADE, March 27 (Tanjug) - The Serbia-Montenegro Council of Ministers on Thursday adopted a bill on the ratification of the Council of Europe Statute and sent it to the Serbia-Montenegro parliament for adoption, under an agreement between the union's member-states.
A statement said that by ratifying the Council of Europe Statute, Serbia and Montenegro would reaffirm its attachment to values which represented the common heritage of European peoples, source of personal and political freedom and rule of the law, in the interest of economic and social progress and greater unity of all European countries with similar views.
The ratification of the Council of Europe Statute at the Montenegrin and Serbian parliaments and the state union's parliament will enable the Council of Europe to admit the state union of Serbia and Montenegro among its full-fledged members on April 3.
The Council of Ministers also sent to parliamentary procedure a bill on the ratification of the Framework Agreement with the European Union. The ratification would make it possible completely to implement this basic act on cooperation between the state union of Serbia and Montenegro and the European Union and adopt all future projects until the adoption of the stabilization and association agreement.
Until the adoption of the final solution of the Serbia-Montenegro fiscal agent, which would be agreed on in consultations between the member-states' ministers of finance and bank governors, the Ministry of International Economic Relations of Serbia and Montenegro will perform the function of the fiscal agent, in keeping with the Constitutional Charter.
The Council of Ministers also adopted the updated text of the Agreement on Mutual Investment Stimulation and Promotion between the state union of Serbia and Montenegro and other states, in keeping with the Constitutional Charter and the law on its implementation.
The adoption of this Agreement will enable the country to open talks and conclude these agreements with countries that have already voiced their interest in this, with the aim of promoting bilateral economic cooperation. This agreement has so far been signed with 30 countries, including neighboring states, the United States, Great Britain, Austria, Italy, Greece and some other EU members, the statement said.
MICUNOVIC: COUNTRY TO ENTER OTHER EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS AFTER COUNCIL OF EUROPE
BELGRADE, March 27 (Beta) - The speaker of the SerbianMontenegrin Parliament, Dragoljub Micunovic, said that the announced admission of Serbia and Montenegro to the Council of Europe was the basic condition for its further European and NATO integration.
"This is a very important date for us. The last obstacle to our integration has been removed and we can now prepare and apply for membership in the EU, World Trade Organization, and the Partnership for Peace program," Micunovic told the March 27 issue of the Novi Sad daily Dnevnik.
SERBIAN GOVERNMENT GIVES ITS AGREEMENT FOR RATIFICATION OF COE STATUTE
BELGRADE, March 27 (Tanjug) - The Serbian government on Thursday agreed that the Serbia-Montenegro parliament adopt a bill on the ratification of the Council of Europe (CoE) Statute, as a precondition for the April 3 admission of Serbia and Montenegro in the Council of Europe.
The government adopted a bill on ministries as a result of the delegation of authority from former federal administration organs and organizations to the Republic of Serbia, the government's Press Service said in a statement on Thursday.
The statement said that republican ministries would continue operating under the same names, except the Ministry of Culture and Public Information, which would be renamed Ministry of Culture and Media. The government sent the bill to parliament for urgent reviewal.
The government also adopted amendments to the Law on the Serbian Budget for 2003 and sent it to parliament for urgent adoption. The revision of the Serbian budget is a result of a different constitutional organization and creation of the state union of Serbia and Montenegro.
Serbia's new budget will finance the functions that will be completely taken over by the republic and partly finance the offices of the new state union. All income that used to be at the level of the former federal state will be taken over by the member-states.
The Serbian government also adopted a bill on public information and sent it to parliament for urgent adoption. The bill is harmonized with the European Convention, guaranteeing the freedom of obtaining and disclosing information without any interference of state authorities and creating conditions for free, professional and responsible journalism.
MONTENEGRIN PARLIAMENT GIVES APPROVAL FOR RATIFICATION OF CE STATUTE
PODGORICA, March 27 (Tanjug) - The Montenegrin parliament adopted Thursday in emergency procedure a decision to give approval to the Serbia-Montenegro (SCG) parliament to pass a law ratifying the Council of Europe Statute.
Fifty MP's voted in favor, one abstained and none voted against the decision. Inviting the MP's to support the decision, Montenegrin Deputy Premier Dragan Djurovic said it is necessary in order to honor the deadlines for SCG admission to the CE. SCG is to become a full CE member on April 3.
SCG admission to the CE is part of Montenegro's strategic commitment to becoming a part of the European family of democratic nations and to active integration in European and Euro-Atlantic organizations, Djurovic said.
The Montenegrin parliament will reconvene Friday to debate amendments to the laws on customs and VAT and the government's proposal to postpone the census, scheduled for April, until November.
SERBIA-MONTENEGRO'S ADMISSION IN COE IS INITIAL IMPORTANT STEP, MONTENEGRIN PREMIER
PODGORICA, March 27 (Tanjug) - Speaking in Podgorica on Thursday, Montenegrin Premier Milo Djukanovic and Council of Europe (CoE) strategic planning director Jean Louis Laurent voiced pleasure with the forthcoming admission of Serbia and Montenegro in the CoE.
A statement released by Djukanovic's office said that this was described as the "initial, but important step for the achievement of the strategic goal - joining of European and Euro-Atlantic integration processes." Laurent said that cooperation between Serbia-Montenegro and the CoE would be promoted after the country's admission and that the contents of this cooperation would be altered. He said that the CoE would observe the state union's structure, preserving the present capacity of the CoE Office in Podgorica and widening its operation.
Djukanovic thanked the CoE for its cooperation and support to Montenegro's democratic development, in which the CoE Office in Podgorica had a special role, the statement said.
SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO
MICUNOVIC MEETS WITH EUROPEAN COMMISSION DELEGATION HEAD
BELGRADE, March 27 (Tanjug) - Serbia-Montenegro Parliament Speaker Dragoljub Micunovic met on Thursday with the head of the European Commission (EC) delegation to Belgrade, Geoffrey Barret, who informed him about the EC annual report on the stabilization and association of the Balkan countries.
Apart from analyzing the situation and achievements in the political and economic reforms in Serbia-Montenegro and recommendations for the further steps which the Serbia-Montenegro authorities should take to come closer to the European Union, the EC will, according to Barret, focus on strengthening the federal state and its institutions and the establishing of a single Serbia-Montenegro market.
Micunovic informed the EC representative about the importance to the stability of the country and the entire region of the action for breaking up organized crime, currently underway in Serbia, the Serbia-Montenegro parliament press service said.
IMPORTANCE OF HARMONIZATION OF MARKETS FOR BRINGING SERBIA-MONTENEGRO CLOSER TO EU, BARRETT
BELGRADE, March 27 (Tanjug) - A single domestic market and trade policy of Serbia and Montenegro is curtail for the signing of the Agreement on Stabilization and Association with the European Union, as 80 pct of the agreement concerns the economy and trade, said on Thursday European Commission Delegation head in Belgrade, Geoffrey Barrett.
At a press conference on the occasion of the adoption of the annual report about the process of stabilization and association in countries of the Western Balkans, Barrett explained that for working out a feasibility study and the start of negotiations on stabilization and association will be necessary clear evidence that Serbia and Montenegro has started the harmonization of the domestic market.
The EU expects the earliest possible adoption of the action plan on the harmonization of the market, in which will be explained in detail the sequencing of moves and the time frames for the completion of the job, Barrett said.
In the report of the European Commission it is assessed that in Serbia and Montenegro substantial success has been recorded in the past year in the field of human and minority rights, mixed results in the reform of the judiciary and policy, and slow progress in the building of stable institutions.
JOVIC AND LILIC RELIEVED OF THEIR OBLIGATION TO KEEP STATE SECRETS
BELGRADE, March 27 (Beta) - The Council of Ministers of Serbia and Montenegro decided on March 27 to relieve the "suspects" Borisav Jovic and Goran Milinovic of their obligation to keep state and military secrets in the judicial proceedings before The Hague Tribunal, the statement issued from the meeting of the Council of Ministers said.
Borisav Jovic was an associate of former Serbian and Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic for years. He performed the offices of president, vice-president and a member of the Presidency of the former Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia.
Goran Milinovic was the cabinet chief of Slobodan Milosevic for years.
At the same meeting, the Council of Ministers also decided to relieve former Yugoslav president Zoran Lilic of his obligation to keep state and military secrets in the process of testifying before The Hague Tribunal.
SVILANOVIC AND DE VILLEPIN ON PROMOTION OF BILATERAL RELATIONS
BELGRADE, March 27 (Tanjug) - Serbia-Montenegro Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic, his French counterpart Dominique de Villepin and the chairman of the French parliament's Foreign Relations Committee - Edouard Balladure discussed in Paris major issues in the sphere of bilateral relations, their promotion and France's continued support for the inclusion of Serbia-Montenegro into European integration processes.
Svilanovic and De Villepin also signed an agreement on the succession of bilateral agreements and conventions, thus completing the contractual state between the state union of Serbia-Montenegro and France.
MINISTER SVILANOVIC ON SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO'S NEW FOREIGN POLICY
PARIS, March 27 (Tanjug) - Serbia and Montenegro Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic gave on Thursday in Paris, where he is on a two-day official visit, a lecture at the French Institute for International Relations (IFRI) - one of the leading European and world centers for studying international problems. Following are excerpts from Svilanovic's lecture: Very recently the new state union of Serbia and Montenegro came into being. With its creation, we believe we put a stop to the further disintegration processes in the Balkan region. It was not the result of the imposition of the will of others but the outcome of an agreement reached between equal partners.
Their equal status was also reflected in the country's name. The Constitutional Charter adopted on that occasion is an expression of both the real interests and real differences existing between Serbia and Montenegro.
However, it clearly constitutes the only viable European framework for relations between the two member States at present. A desperate attempt was made a fortnight ago to block the process of democratization, modernization and Europeanization in Serbia.
The main driving force behind these democratic changes, Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic was assassinated. Against a background of wars, sanctions and quasi-patriotic populism of the old regime, orthodox criminals, segments of the political structures, various security and related services and paramilitary groups formed a pact and rallied around their shared particular interest of non-cooperation with the Hague War Crimes Tribunal.
Their inability to reverse the democratic changes was what pushed them to make this last-ditch step. However, their intentions and hopes that the country would descend into chaos and disorder were shattered. The authorities' response was efficient action and a large majority of people in Serbia and Montenegro expressed in a dignified way their unequivocal support against reverting back to the past and remaining on the margins of the Europe of today.
The state of emergency declared in Serbia is aimed at defending the basic conditions and foundations of reform and the democratic processes. It is also in the interest of other countries in our region and beyond.
The democratic authorities in Serbia and Montenegro had to devote attention to two foreign policy priorities at once. Number one, they had to take specific steps to redress the previous policy - to reintegrate the country into international organizations and institutions, to re-establish the interrupted relations and reaffirm the country as a reliable and safe partner to its neighbours in the first place and to others as well. Number two, we are now in a situation to develop a new foreign policy concept of the country. It will be different not only from the one devised by the former government that was brought down in late 2000, but also from the one associated with the former Yugoslavia in the second part of the 20th century.
Our country is now smaller, economically weaker. It has new neighbours and exists in a substantially changed environment in and beyond the region. The international standing and the role played by our country today are different from those in the past. The relevance of my country and the region as a whole has really diminished. This is perhaps not noticeable at first glance.
The most important task for us is to recognize our proper role and place and to conduct such policies as would serve to resolve domestic social and economic problems more speedily and effectively. In this regard, we have set clear priorities: joining the EU; normalization and development of relations with neighbouring countries; balanced relations with the great Powers including the United States and Russia; and resumption, with the bounds of possibilities, of relations and cooperation with Asian, African and South American countries.
It is well known that Kosovo-Metohija is a particularly sensitive issue to us. We would like to arrive at a solution for it through patient negotiations and in full cooperation with international representatives. Belgrade will clearly no longer wield the kind of influence over developments in Kosovo-Metohija as it did in the past. However, we shall insist on the fact that it is an integral part of the territory of our country. It goes without saying that we are willing to negotiate its status as such with the relevant partners. Our cooperation with the Hague Tribunal is another serious issue facing us. However controversial it may be for many of our citizens, we have no doubts about the necessity of this cooperation. We have made important steps in that direction. We are talking here not only of an international obligation on our part. We are talking of the need to face the truth, however hard, that can lead to the political and moral rebirth of the country and to its return to the fold of the international community once and for all.
The initial stages of our reintegration into the international community are practically over. Now we are expected to act as a member of that community still having serious problems but acting predictably and sensibly in any given situation. In our opinion, the time has come that we be looked upon as a partner with whom there may be some open and outstanding problems but a partner with whom it is possible to talk and work together without setting conditions.
We expect to become a member of the Council of Europe fairly soon. We are very much interested in joining the Partnership for Peace programme that will greatly contribute to the needed reform of the military and the security sector.
All these steps will help achieve the principal goal, EU membership, Svilanovic concluded.
MINIC: UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY FOR BALKAN COUNTRIES
BELGRADE, March 27 (Tanjug) - The Balkan countries now, like never before, have a unique opportunity to establish a link between each other under the wing of the Council of Europe, NATO and the European Union, Serbia and Montenegro's Assistant Foreign Minister Jelica Minic said on Thursday.
At a presentation of the third edition of the European Forum monthly magazine on European integration dedicated to the regional cooperation and integration of the Balkans, Minic assessed that the improvement of infrastructure, appeasement of the visa regime and freedom of movement could be the main promoters of a broader cooperation in the Balkans.
Dusko Lopandic, Director of the Directorate for cooperation with the EU of the Serbia-Montenegrin Foreign Ministry, assessed that trade is the main impulse for cooperation. He also said that the EU should provide the biggest initiative for cooperation, since there is no other leader in the Balkans to do that.
Vladimir Gligorov of the Vienna Institute for International Economic Research said that an appeasement of the visa regime and promotion of regional cooperation in the Balkans are still very complicated.
SERBIA-MONTENEGRO HUMAN RIGHTS MINISTRY WELCOMES EC REPORT
BELGRADE, March 27 (Tanjug) - The Serbia-Montenegro (SCG) Ministry for Human and Minority Rights has welcomed the views expressed by the European Commission in its annual report, which says that SCG has achieved considerable progress regarding human and minority rights and regional cooperation.
According to international community criteria, progress in this field is one of the pre-conditions to integration in Europe to which SCG aspires, the Ministry said in a statement. Views similar to those of the EC have been expressed also by other international organizations and domestic institutions, it noted.
The Ministry underlines that it will pursue its endeavors for coordinating relevant legislation with international standards, the statement says.
MAROVIC: I EXPECT PUBLIC TO START TRUSTING ARMY AGAIN
BELGRADE, March 27 (Beta) - SerbianMontenegrin President Svetozar Marovic said that he expected the public once again to start trusting the army of the state union and its defense institutions.
"The time of distrust and doubt is behind us. I believe that ahead lies a time of renewing the trust of a large part of the democratic and civilian public in the defense institutions and the army," Marovic said in an interview with the March 27 issue of the Podgorica daily Pobjeda.
He also said that his "brief experience in the field, especially through contacts with the acting army chief of staff, Branko Krga, gave him great hope that his belief would become a reality.
SERBIA-MONTENEGRO ARMY CHIEF OF STAFF CONFERS WITH HUNGARIAN COUNTERPART
BELGRADE, March 27 (Tanjug) - Within internatoinal army cooperation, Serbia and Montenegro army chief of staff Gen. Branko Krga, with aides, received Thursday the delegation of the Hungarian Army, headed by Hungarian chief of staff Gen. Zoltan Szenes.
On the occasion, opinions were exchanged about army reforms and its inclusion in international security integration processes, and the further cooperation of the two armies was specified.
In the talks at the army barracks in Subotica, which were held in a cordial and friendly atmosphere, Gen. Szenes invited Gen. Krga to visit the Hungarain army in the coming period, the general staff information service said.
SERBIA-MONTENEGRO JOINING PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE A MATTER OF DAYS - HUNGARIAN CHIEF OF STAFF
BELGRADE, March 27 (Tanjug) - Hungarian Army Chief of Staff LtGen Zoltan Szenes told Serbian TV Thursday evening that following the forthcoming admission of Serbia-Montenegro (SCG) in the Council of Europe, its joining the NATO Partnership for Peace program will be only a matter of days.
Szenes conferred in Subotica with SCG Army Chief of Staff Branko Krga on integration in international security processes, reforms and cooperation between the two armies.
SCG today has similar problems that Hungary had encountered when it was due to join the PfP, which will be explained by Hungarian Army top officers to the SCG military leadership, Szenes said. He expressed hope that the experience of the Hungarian Army will be useful to SCG in its endeavors for joining the NATO program.
SERBIA-MONTENEGRO TO BE GRANTED 113 MILLION US DOLLARS
WASHINGTON, March 28 (Tanjug) - It has been proposed in the US budget for 2004, that in scope of the Support for East European Democracy (SEED) programme, Serbia and Montenegro be granted 113 million dollars, State Department assistance for Europe coordinator Thomas Adams said late on Thursday. This will support a continuation of economic reforms, development of the society and democratization of local self-management, Adams said at a meeting of the European Sub-Committee of the Congress House of Representatives Committee for International Relations.
Adams also said that Serbia and Montenegro was facing political challenges of further cooperation with The Hague tribunal, reforms of the Army and security institutions, modernization of the judicial system, and added that that represented the road of the country's integration with trans-Atlantic institutions.
The State Department official pointed out to the fact that the reforms of the Belgrade government were facing increasing difficulties of transition, which were caused by the recent tragic murder of Serbian premier Zoran Djindjic, and added that therefore, a strong US assistance was required so that the continuation of economic and political changes could be supported.
35 MILLION EUROS FOR SERBIA-MONTENEGRO
PARIS, March 28 (Tanjug) - France has decided to grant 35 euros from concession funds to Serbia and Montenegro, the French Ministry of Economy and Finance said late on Thursday, following the talks between Serbia-Montenegro Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic and French Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry Francis Mer.
The talks between the two ministers, which were also attended by Serbian Finance Minister Bozidar Djelic and Montenegrin Minister of Foreign Economic Relations Slavica Milacic, focused on the improvement of economic bilateral relations, and the support France offered for the process of reforms in Serbia and Montenegro.
Minister Mer confirmed the readiness of France to intervene with the Council of Europe (CE) that Serbia and Montenegro be granted a financial assistance, as well as that a donor conference be organized provided that the country continued its programme of reforms.
SERBIA-MONTENEGRO AND GERMANY SIGN TECHNICAL COOPERATION AGREEMENT
BELGRADE, March 27 (Tanjug) - Serbia-Montenegro Assistant Foreign Minister Jelica Minic, German Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul and German Ambassador to Belgrade Kurt Leonberger signed in the Serbia-Montenegro Foreign Ministry a Joint Statement on Talks on the Agreement on Technical Cooperation Between Germany and the state union of Serbia and Montenegro.
The agreement should help solve economic and social problems in Serbia-Montenegro through the engagement of experts, instructors, scientists and technicians, the delivery of equipment, education and additional training of cadre from Serbia-Montenegro in Germany and other countries.
The Agreement is a step forward in the promotion of cooperation with Germany, which has helped this country with over 233 million euros since the October 2000 changes, the Serbia-Montenegro Foreign Ministry announced.
NBS TO BE SERBIA-MONTENEGRO'S FISCAL AGENT AT IMF
BELGRADE, March 27 (Tanjug) - Economic teams of the governments of Serbia and Montenegro have reached a preliminary agreement to appoint the National Bank of Serbia and its Governor the fiscal agent of the state union of Serbia and Montenegro at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but a way of representation at the World Bank had not been decided yet, Serbian Minister for Foreign Economic Relations Goran Pitic said on Thursday.
Responding to the journalist questions on the outcome of the Tuesday meeting of representatives of the governments of Serbia and Montenegro in Belgrade, Pitic said that the mutual assessment was that the National Bank of Serbia and its Governor should be the fiscal agent at the IMF, but in cooperation with Montenegro's Central Bank.
Pitic added, however, that an agreement on Serbia-Montenegro's representative at the World Bank had not been reached.
"Since it is very important to solve this issue over the next few days, I hope a solution that would protect the interests of both Serbia and Montenegro would be found," said Pitic, adding that it should be taken into consideration that only Serbia has adequate financial capacity when it comes to the fiscal agent and the deposit institution with the IMF and the World Bank.
LJAJIC ON PROBLEMS OF ROMA PEOPLE
BELGRADE, March 27 (Tanjug) - The resolving of the issue of internally displaced and the return of about 50,000 Roma, illegally staying in countries of the European Union, to Serbia and Montenegro are acute problems of the Roma population, assessed on Thursday Federal Minister for National and Ethnic Communities Rasim Ljajic.
Serbia and Montenegro has so far signed with the European Union 13 accords on readmission, and 12 more accords are in preparation, "on the basis of which we accepted that our citizens, illegally staying in Europe to be returned to the country," Ljajic said at a press conference, on the occasion of the meeting Friday in the Serbian Academy of Science and Arts, devoted to the position of Roma in Serbia.
In Germany are living about 50,000 of our citizens illegally, in Switzerland about 25,000 and in Sweden 7,000, of what about 50,000, or 70 pct are Roma, the minister specified.
SPASOJEVIC, LUKOVIC KILLED IN ARREST ACTION - INTERIOR MINISTRY
BELGRADE, March 28 (Tanjug) - The Serbian Interior Ministry has stated that leaders of the Zemun gang, Dusan Spasojevic known as Siptar and Mile Lukovic as Kum (godfather), were killed in an arrest action in Barajevo late on Thursday, i.e. during the pursuit of those who organized and carried out the murder of Serbian premier Zoran Djindjic.
The statement said that on Thursday, part of the Zemun gang had been located on the territory of the municipality of Barajevo, where they had been hiding for the last few days. During the action, leaders of this gang offered an armed resistance because of which the police were forced to use weapons as well. During the action, Dusan Spasojevic, who goes under the name of Siptar, born on June 10, 1968, and Mile Lukovic, who goes under the name of Kum, born on March 1, 1969, were killed.
STAMBOLIC'S MURDERERS ARRESTED
BELGRADE, March 28 (Tanjug) - Belgrade police have found the remains of Ivan Stambolic's body and arrested his killers as well as four members of the Special Operations Unit, Serbian Interior Minister Dusan Mihajlovic has said.
Stambolic's remains were found on Mt Fruska Gora late on Thursday, Mihajlovic told a news conference. Former president of the Serbian Presidency Stambolic was kidnapped in Belgrade's Kosutnjak park on August 25, 2000.
Investigative organs suspect that Stambolic's murder had been politically motivated and that he had been killed in order not to run at the Serbian presidential elections. There is also clear indication to who could have instigated and ordered the crime, Mihajlovic said.
Mihajlovic said that police would therefore interrogate former Yugoslav and Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic in The Hague as well as his wife Mira Markovic.
BELGRADE DISTRICT COURT JUDGE ARRESTED
BELGRADE, Mar 27 (Tanjug) - Serbian police have arrested Belgrade District Court judge and president of the pre-trial panel of judges Zivota Djoincevic as part of the investigation of the assassination of Serbian Premier Zoran Djindjic, the Ministry of the Interior said Thursday.
Djoincevic is charged with accepting bribes for releasing suspects from detention, illegal mitigation of sentences and close ties with the Zemun Clan of criminals involved in the assassination of Djindjic, the statement says.
Searching Djoincevic's home, the police found a large quantity of weapons and ammunition and 70,000 euros, the statement says. In the beginning of 2002, when the new law on criminal proceedings went into force, Djoincevic presided a panel of judges which released eight persons charged with murders and other serious crimes. He then assessed that there was no reason to keep the murderers in custody, as they would appear before the court when summoned.
Six of the suspects were never seen again and are still at large, the statement says. Djoincevic also released from detention in June 2001 high officials of the former regime Nebojsa Maljkovic, Milovan Djurovic, Tomislav Jankovic and Radoslav Sekulic, charged with financial fraud in the health sector.
In Ocotber 2002, Djoincevic also released from detention the former owner of pyramid savings scheme Jezdimir Vasiljevic, and acted in a similar manner in many other cases which will be investigated further, the statement says.
The police continues investigating all ties between the Zemun Clan and the judiciary, police and other state institutions, the statement says.
MICIC: STATE OF EMERGENCY TO LAST AS LONG AS IT TAKES
BELGRADE, March 27 (Beta) - Acting Serbian president Natasa Micic on March 27 said that the state of emergency in Serbia, introduced after the assassination of premier Zoran Djindjic, would last as long as necessary, adding that no one would be able to stop the country's return to the community of Europe.
"I say to all those who are deeply concerned about the democratic rights and freedoms we have achieved in the past two years that the state of emergency will not last longer than it takes to finish the job we have started," Micic said, addressing the public, following the two weeks since the introduction of the state of emergency.
Reminding the public that the premier's assassin has been arrested and that most of the organizers of the assassination were behind bars, she said "organized crime has practically been destroyed" and the attempt by "criminal forces to take Serbia back into the dark past has failed."
Following Serbia and Montenegro's forthcoming membership in the Council of Europe, Micic said that this would signify "the crucial step to European and NATO integration."
STATE OF EMERGENCY IN SERBIA HAS NOT JEOPARDIZED HUMAN RIGHTS - LJAJIC
PODGORICA, March 28 (Tanjug) - Serbia and Montenegro Minister of Human and Minority Rights Rasim Ljajic has said that the state of emergency in Serbia has not jeopardized its citizens' human rights. "The state of emergency is a logical move after the assassination of premier Zoran Djindjic.
It has not affected citizens, but it has turned out that we were all in jeopardy from a group of criminals and that the entire state was the hostage of the Kula barracks," Ljajic told the Podgorica daily Pobjeda. "Now is our chance to win the fight, not only against fake patriotism and crime, but also to create a serious democratic state," the minister said.
Speaking about moves forward in the field of human rights protection in Serbia and Montenegro, Ljajic said that the greatest move forward had been made by the determination of appropriate legal regulations in the field of minority rights.
"We have adopted the most liberal law in Europe and the Charter on Human and Minority Rights is compatible with the current international standards in this field," Ljajic said.
He said that the lowest level of inter-ethnic distance had been registered in Montenegro and the highest in southern Serbia.
OSCE: GOVERNMENT IMPLEMENTING STATE OF EMERGENCY WITH MODERATION
BELGRADE, March 27 (Beta) - The head of the OSCE mission in Serbia and Montenegro, Maurizio Massari, said that implementing the state of emergency in Serbia had so far been "with moderation and wholly proportional."
In a letter to the media, handed to BETA on March 27, Massari said that he believed the state of emergency could become "an option in which everyone wins" for Serbian democracy, if the authorities continue to act reasonably.
"It is undeniable that the Serbian government's priority is to fight organized crime," Massari pointed out.
The head of the OSCE mission in Serbia and Montenegro also proposed five guidelines for the implementation of the state of emergency, in order to wage a successful struggle against organized crime proportionality, individual responsibility, public reassurance, limited duration, and political reconciliation.
UN AGENCY HELPS SERBIA COLLECT ARMS
BELGRADE, March 27 (Tanjug) - The Southeast Europe Small Arms Control Center (SEESAC), acting under UN auspices, is helping Serbia in the action of arms collection following the appeal of the Serbian Interior Ministry, SEESAC official Greg Raderford has confirmed to Tanjug.
He said that this organization of the UN Development Program (UNDP) was open to cooperation on the destruction of arms with the authorities in Belgrade. Raderford said that the Interior MInistry requested support from SEESAC for a media campaign and that the Center was now working on pamphlets that will be distributed by post within the action of collecting illegal arms.
GERMAN DONATIONS TO SERBIA 40 MILLION EUROS, WRITE-OFF OF 25 MILLION OF DEBT
BELGRADE, March 27 (Tanjug) - The German government has increased its donations to Serbia for this year from 30 to 40 million euros, and an additional aid of 25 million euros is planned, said on Thursday, following talks in the Serbian government building, Serbian Premier Zoran Zivkovic, German Minister of Economic Cooperation Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul and Serbian Finance Minister Bozidar Djelic.
German Minister Wieczorek, among other things, promised 30 million dollars in financial credits, and pointed out that her visit confirms that the German government supports the new Serbian premier, and the path taken by the state with Europe's support - towards economic recovery, the rule of law and democratization.
She pointed Germany was very interested in this, because the stabilization of our country means the stabilization of the entire region and Europe and added that her government will support Serbia in the talks with European financial institutions, the IMF and the World Bank.
KFW TO INCREASE CREDIT FUND FOR SERBIA BY ANOTHER 15 MILLION EUROS
BELGRADE, March 27 (Tanjug) - National Bank of Serbia (NBS) Governor Mladjan Dinkic and a German business delegation, headed by Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Heidemarie Wieczorek Zeul, on Thursday agreed on an increase of the SME crediting fund, approved by the German Development Bank (KfW), by another 15 million euros.
Assistance, which the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development has so far provided to Serbia's banking sector, has yielded extremely good results, it was said at the meeting, where cooperation had also been agreed on in the field of securing an initial deposit insurance fund and on the project aimed at defining and building a banking academy, the NBS said in a statement.
SERBIAN GOVERNMENT'S REACTIONS ATTRACT FOREIGN INVESTITORS - TRISIC
BELGRADE, March 27 (Tanjug) - American Chambers of Commerce chairman in Serbia and Montenegro, Sasa Trsic, said on Thursday that good reactions of the Serbian government in the last two weeks had encouraged foreign investors to invest even more into Serbia.
The moment of vacuum is already behind us, Trisic told the press following a working breakfast the Chambers of Commerce representatives had with Serbian Minister of Foreign Economic Relations Goran Pitic.
Trisic also said that the government had proved by the way it acted that it was serious in its intentions of going on with development and reforms, and added that they, as the American Chambers of Commerce, would surely do their best to assist in the process. According to him, a normalization of trade relations between the United States and Serbia and Montenegro was at arm's length, which would create possibilities for a both-way economic and trade cooperation.
I expect that after that, foreign investors will begin developing new kinds of production on this market, so as to export such goods both to the United States and throughout Europe, Trisic said.
JELASIC: FIERCER METHODS FOR SUPPRESSING GREY ECONOMY
BELGRADE, March 27 (Beta) - Deputy governor of the National Bank of Serbia Radovan Jelasic said on March 27 that the government must apply more stringent measures to suppress the grey economy.
"Instead of the cut in tax rates that has been exhaustedas an incentive, we need to apply a more assertive method to suppress the grey economy, as the epicenter of crime, which is affecting Serbia more than any other country in the region," Jelasic said at a panel discussion organized by Novosadska Banka.
He said that the government must insist on the banking sector's responsibility, as it plays a key role in the fight against the grey economy.
This means controlling large transfers and deposits in order to prevent money laundering, Jelasic added.
SOUTHERN SERBIAN BROADCASTER LAUNCHES PROGRAM IN ALBANIAN
BUJANOVAC, March 27 (Beta) - The Bujanovacbased radio and television station Spektri on March 27 launched an experimental program in Albanian.
Spektri manager Jeton Ismaili told BETA that as a start, the broadcaster would air a 24hour radio and six hour TV program, which would include two news broadcasts.
He added that Spektri would also rebroadcast the program of Belgrade radio and TV B92.
The Bujanovac station's program will at first cover the area of the municipalities with an Albanian majority Bujanovac and Presevo as well as a part of eastern Kosovo.
The station plans later on to cover all of Kosovo and Metohija and a part of Macedonia.
KOSOVO - METOHIJA
GENERAL MINI SAYS ONLY KFOR CARRIES WEAPONS IN KOSOVO
PRISTINA, March 27 (Beta) - KFOR commander Gen. Fabio Mini told the March 28 issue of Vecernje Novosti that everyone who had left their home in Kosovo, "especially those who left four years ago," needed to be allowed back.
We must secure "normal coexistence among people and European standards, rights and freedoms for all inhabitants, in which everyone will feel free. When we achieve this we will be able to conclude that our mission has accomplished its task," Mini said.
He said that "opportunism in the province's institutions must be brought to an end."
Following announcements that a large portion of the government's authorities and security could be transferred to the Kosovo institutions, Gen. Mini said:
"There can be no talk of this. Only KFOR can carry arms in Kosovo, and not local 'defenders.' Only the U.N. can change this. For the present, we are conducting a military mission in the province and no one else may do so."
He also said that the Iraqi crisis had little affect on the KFOR mission, but that KFOR was practicing greater caution.
MONTENEGRIN PREMIER HOPES GREECE WILL SECURE GREATER AID FOR SERBIA-MONTENEGRO
PODGORICA, Mar 27 (Tanjug) - Montenegrin Premier Milo Djukanovic expressed hope Thursday meeting the Greek Ambassador to Belgrade Michel Spinellis that Greece, as European Union chair country and a close friend to Serbia and Montenegro (SCG) will urge the EU to provide more generous aid to the reform governments in Serbia and Montenegro.
This will be very important for both Serbia and Montenegro in honoring their commitments in the process of stabilization and association with the EU, both in the long term and until the EU summit in June in Salonika, which will focus in part on western Balkans, Djukanovic's office said.
Djukanovic and Spinellis also discussed the constitution of SCG institutions and the recent assassination of Serbian Premier Zoran Djindjic, expressing hope that his tragic death will constitute a warning and an incentive to Europe to adopt a more sensitive approach to processes in this country. Spinellis pointed to Montenegro's constructive role and important reform measures. The talk also focused on prospects for cooperation between Montenegro and Greece.
MONTENEGRO SUPPORTS SERBIAN GOVERNMENT IN FIGHT AGAINST ORGANIZED CRIME
PODGORICA, March 27 (Tanjug) - Montenegrin Premier Milo Djukanovic and head of the OSCE Mission to Belgrade Maurizio Massari voiced their support in Podgorica on Thursday to Serbian government's determination to beat organized crime and persist on its reform and pro-European course. Djukanovic and Massari described the March 12 assassination of Serbian premier Zoran Djindjic as a major loss for reform forces in Serbia and democratic movement in the region, the Montenegrin premier's office said in a statement.
Massari informed Djukanovic about the OSCE plans for assisting the newly-formed Serbia-Montenegro organs and voiced the organisation's readiness to support democratic development projects in Montenegro.
Djukanovic and Massari also discussed the May 11 Montenegrin presidential elections and obligations aimed at harmonizing the Montenegrin Constitution with the Constitutional Charter of Serbia and Montenegro.
MONTENEGRO WILL BE CONSTRUCTIVE IN HARMONIZATION OF ECONOMIC RELATIONS IN SERBIA-MONTENEGRO
PODGORICA, March 27 (Tanjug) - Montenegrin Foreign Minister Dragisa Burzan said on Thursday that Montenegro would be constructive in the harmonization of economic relations between Serbia and Montenegro and that it would be "guided by standards that correspond with the EU standards".
Speaking with Greek Ambassador in Belgrade Michel Spinellis, Burzan voiced hope that solutions would be found in the harmonization process that would ensure a consistent implementation of the Belgrade agreement, the Montenegrin Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
"In all further processes referring to the harmonization of relations within the union, Montenegro will insist on the preservation of the achieved level of reforms that have been implemented and authorized by EU experts," Burzan said.
The Greek ambassador reiterated that the European Union was determined to develop comprehensive cooperation with Montenegro and voiced EU readiness to continue giving its full support to democratic processes in Montenegro, the statement said.