News from Central and Eastern Europe, Friday 7th June 2013

BALKANS

Comment – The Economist: Balkan war-crimes. ‘THE International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which was set up 20 years ago, is winding down amid controversy. Recent judgments have shocked supporters of the tribunal and left many in the former Yugoslavia stunned. Refik Hodzic, a Bosnian and former spokesman for the ICTY, says that it is no longer “our court” and that it is now undergoing a “baffling self-destruction”.’

BOSNIA

B92:Protesters unblock Bosnia-Herzegovina parliament. ‘Thousands of protesters formed a chain around the building on Thursday, angry that the authorities had failed to adopt a new law on unique personal ID numbers (JMBG) for citizens.

Trapped inside the building were MPs, and nearly 350 foreigners – participants in a banking conference.

They were all able to leave in the early hours of Friday, after protesters reached an agreement with High Representative in Bosnia Valentin Inzko.

The protesters asked Inzko for “firm guarantees” that the issue of the new law would solved, and that a session of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) would be scheduled.’

BULGARIA

Reuters: Bulgaria wants faster foreign help in bus bomb investigation. ‘Bulgaria wants speedier responses from nations it asked for help in its investigation of a deadly bus bombing in July that it has previously blamed on Lebanon’s Hezbollah group, Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin said on Thursday.

“Bulgaria is ready to join a consensus decision of the European Union (on blacklisting Hezbollah) and it is our obligation to provide yet more solid ground for it,” Vigenin said in a statement after meeting the Irish ambassador to Sofia.’

GREECE

Enet English: Kasidiaris suggests he’s a Holocaust denier. ‘A Golden Dawn MP sparked controversy from the podium in parliament on Thursday when he indicated that he was a Holocaust denier.

Ilias Kasidaris made the comments during a debate about the investigation by a parliamentary committee into the Lagarde list of suspected tax evaders with accounts in Swiss banks.

Kasidaris, the only Golden Dawn MP on the committee, said that a Greek-Israeli financier, Sabby Mionis, is refusing to attend a sitting of the committee investigating the list because there where “Holocaust deniers” sitting on it.’

Greek Reporter: Bomb Explodes Outside Home of Greek Prison Director. ‘A woman was lightly wounded when a bomb placed under a car belonging to a prison director exploded early on Friday in Athens, a police source said.
The device had been placed beneath the car of a woman who directs Athens’s Kordallos prison, in the Greek capital’s southern suburb of Dafni, the source said.’

HUNGARY

Politics.hu: Ethnic Hungarian party falls out with Slovak government. ‘László A. Nagy, the Slovak government commissioner for ethnic affairs, resigned on Wednesday, due to a dispute between his Most-Híd party and the cabinet.

The Slovak-Hungarian party called on Nagy to resign after MPs from the governing Smer-SD party failed to support a Most-Híd proposal to display the names of railway stations in both Hungarian and Slovak.

Nagy’s commissioner post was created last spring after the Robert Fico cabinet abolished the office of deputy prime minister for ethnic minority affairs.’

RUSSIA

RAPSI: ECHR holds Russia was not responsible for death of militant leader Maskhadov. ‘The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) held Thursday that Russia was not responsible for the death of Aslan Maskhadov, but that its automatic refusal to return his body constituted a violation of his family’s right to respect for private and family life, as guaranteed by Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights (Convention).’

RUVR: FBI neglected Russian intelligence’s warning about Tsarnaev’s radicalization: Boston marathon attack could have been averted. ‘Six lawmakers who went to Moscow were briefed by the FSB officials and were shown a copy of Russia’s March 2011 warning to the CIA and the FBI about Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s visit to Dagestan and his activities there.

The FSB told the U.S. agencies that Tamerlan and his mother appeared to have become radicalized and seemed interested in taking part in the Islamic insurgency in the North Caucasus, an administrative and ethnic patchwork of Muslim-majority republics.

“They told us if U.S. agencies had worked more closely with them maybe, the bombing might not have happened,” Steve Cohen, a member of the visiting delegation said.’

Audio – Terrorist plan foiled in Moscow, experts doubt its existence. ‘The Federal Security Service arrested the suspected leader of a militant group planning terrorist acts in Moscow, The Moscow Times reports

Novye Izvestia published the results of two surveys, conducted in-house and by Levada Center, coincidentally, on the same topic – immigration

Izvestia writes that a group of Ukrainian veteran soliders is considering joining the Syrian conflict

Rossiyskaya Gazeta takes a look at what Russian kids are doing online’

Vestnik Kavkaza: Police officer dies in car explosion in Dagestan. ‘A police officer of the Untsukulsky District of Dagestan died when his car exploded in Shamilkala this morning, RIA Novosti reports.

The car passed only 100 meters from the police station when a bomb exploded underneath it. Another officer suffered from concussion.’

Militants detained in Moscow Region had contacts with Turkestan Islamic Party. ‘The militants detained in the Moscow Region were part of the Islamic Party of Turkestan and were trained in Afghanistan where they had confronted NATO forces, RIA Novosti reports.

Their gang committed crimes in the Volga Region. They moved to the Afghan-Pakistani zone in 2010 to get military training.

The militants were studying explosives and were involved in attacks on NATO troops. They moved to Russia and became residents of Orekhovo-Zuyevo.’

TURKEY

Press TV: Erdogan blames terrorists, foreigners for unrest in Turkey. ‘Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has laid the blame on a “terrorist organization” and foreign suspects for anti-government demonstrations that continue to rock his country.

Speaking to reporters in Tunis on the last leg of his North Africa tour on Thursday, Erdogan said seven foreigners have been arrested in connection with the week-long protest rallies. However, He did not specify the nationalities of the detainees.

 

“Seven foreigners have been implicated in the unrest, six of whom have appeared before the public prosecutor and one of whom is under arrest,” Erdogan stated.

 

“An inquiry is taking place to determine the manner in which they took part in the violence,” he said.’

 

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