Court Sentences Vice Speaker for Defrauding a Woman of Twenty Thousand Euros

The Municipal Court in Zenica found a vice speaker of the FBiH Parliament House of Representatives Vesna Svancer guilty of fraud and sentenced her to six months in prison, on probation for two years. Svancer was arrested last year on the orders of the Court. According to the sentence, she persuaded a Zenica woman that she would sell her apartment and give her the money, but when the owner authorized her to do so, Svancer sold the apartment for 19,800 euros and kept the money.

Photos of Arctic Nomads Will Be Exhibited at National Museum

A photo exhibition “The Arctic Fates” by French author Nicolas Mingasson will open at the National Museum on February 1, on the occasion of the 129th anniversary of the Museum, in the presence of French Ambassador Claire Bodonyi.

The exhibition photos depict the lives of the Dolgan, nomadic cattle breeders of the Taymyr peninsula in the remote Russian arctic region.
Mingasson is a photographer journalist who had traveled to the peninsula Taymyr regularly since 1995 and is one of a small number of journalists and photographers who visited the region.

War Childhood Museum Opens in Sarajevo

An exhibition of mementos of children who lived through the war has finally opened after the War Childhood Museum secured enough funding to acquire a permanent home in Sarajevo, reports BIRN. The museum at Logavina Street is the permanent exhibition space for a collection of more than 3,000 personal objects which was started by director Jasminko Halilovic in 2010. After struggling with reluctant local authorities to get enough funding, and putting on a temporary exhibit at the Historical Museum of Sarajevo, the project has finally been realized thanks to help mostly from international donors, as well as a crowdfunding drive that raised several thousand euros.

SDA Dismisses Bosnian Croat Entity Discussion

The Party of Democratic Action, SDA, rejected calls for the formation of a third entity, made at the Saturday session of the assembly of Bosnian Croat parties. Such calls were “unacceptable”, the SDA said, referring to a statement issued by the Croatian People’s Assembly, HNS, in Mostar. The SDA – which is headed by the Bosniak member of the national Presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic – said the party would “never accept any constitutional reform that would lead the country into further divisions”, reported BIRN.

Calls by the HNS for a third entity for Bosnian Croats were “unrealistic maximalist demands”, it said, pointing out that Croats make up a smaller proportion of the population than either Bosniaks and Bosnian Serbs. Such calls undermine the country’s constitution, according to the SDA.

“The (main Bosnian Croat party] HDZ obviously does not want anything other than division, and thus we are moving away from institutional solutions that would benefit the Croats. A third entity and ‘administrative-territorial’ reorganization as advocated by the HNS will not be,” said the SDA.

Any Change of Top Court Would Require Amending the Constitution

The EU Special Representative to BiH, Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark said in Sarajevo that any changes to the BiH Constitutional Court would require amendments to the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina because the role and structure of the Court is defined in the Constitution. Asked about demands to remove international judges from the Constitutional Court, Wigemark said there was no consensus on the issue, which is why such initiatives consume the time and energy that should be used on the reforms. “In my opinion, the issue of the BiH Constitutional Court, or other political issues, would be best addressed through the process of EU integration after receiving a candidate status,” said Wigemark.

Journalist Organization Demands Apology from Sarajevo Hospital Director

The steering board of the BH Journalists organization criticized Sarajevo hospital director for insulting a journalist. The organization said that the Director of the Clinical Center of the Sarajevo University, Sebija Izetbegovic, mocked an Al Jazeera Balkans reporter, Natasa Kovacev, and other reporters at a press-conference organized by Izetbegovic.

“Kovacev exercised her reporter right and asked an entirely legitimate question about the medical staff leaving the Sarajevo Clinical Center in her mother tongue – Serbian. Instead of giving a reasoned and professional response, Director Izetbegovic responded to the question in an ironic way, in (Serbian) dialect, mocking the media interest in what is happening at the Clinical Center in Sarajevo,” said the organization.

The organization demanded an apology from Izetbegovic and urged her to be professional in communication with the media. Also, the organization urged the media and reporters to boycott Izetbegovic until she apologizes to the reporter. In the meantime, the Clinical Center criticized a reporter at Izetbegovic’s press conference who said that Izetbegovic’s response in Serbian was racist.

“The Clinical Center of the Sarajevo University recognizes Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian languages, and we use both Latin and Cyrillic as equal alphabets in BiH. We believe that speaking multiple languages is an asset. In our statements and presentations, the (Clinic) employees speak Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, English, German and other languages,” said the Clinic.

Bosnian Croat Leader “Positive” There Will Be No Conflict

“I was positive that there would be no war (when former Yugoslavia fell apart in early nineties). Today I am even more positive that there will be no (war), but still I must say that it is not up to us; rather the great powers (will decide). (…) I’m not sure that we are interesting to them, fortunately,” the Croat member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the leader of HDZ BiH Dragan Covic told Vecernji list daily.

In the regional context, said Covic, the most important thing is to have peace between Serbia and Kosovo. The recent tension, in his opinion, is about the Serbian elections.

“For now, I do not see war potential, But I am sure something (like a war) can be organized. All sorts of protest ‘games’ are being prepared (…) by almost the same actors who did it three years ago,” said Covic.