Sunday, January 28, 2007

Police chief ousted 'for urging Mladic handover'

Looks like Kostunica is showing his true self. Just before he leaves office, he sacks a police chief who has been pushing for the arrest of Mladic. And now he is appointing Milosevic's people in high level law enforcement agencies. Koshtunica is in par with Sheshel when it come to nationalistic feelings. With "democrats" like these Serbia is going nowhere but backwards! The article from FT:

By Neil MacDonald in Belgrade

Published: January 29 2007 02:00 |

Serbia's government, now in its final weeks in office, has purged a controversial senior police inspector as part of moves to reappoint loyalists from the former regime of Slobodan Milosevic in the police and judiciary.

Vladimir Bozovic, a human rights lawyer who has served as inspector-general of police for the past three years, lost his job last week. He told the FT yesterday that he was pushed out because he had pressed the Serbian government to capture and hand over Ratko Mladic, the fugitive Bosnian Serb army commander wanted for alleged genocide.

Mr Bozovic's replacement, Ljubinko Nikolic, is an alleged member of Mr Milosevic's inner circle. Critics of the outgoing government said he could help consolidate the grip of ex-regime loyalists on the police.

The European Commission looks eager to reopen talks with the next Serbian government but the entrenchment of anti-reform security officials would undermine claims about improved co-operation with the war crimes tribunal in The Hague. The Serbian interior ministry went ahead with the personnel change in spite of claims that the cabinet no longer has any mandate and can only carry out "technical functions" in the wake of parliamentary elections on January 21.

The outgoing government cannot, for example, engage in the long-awaited diplomatic settlement in the dispute over Kosovo, the country's mostly ethnic Albanian province placed under United Nations interim administration in 1999.

Vojislav Kostunica, Serbia's hard-pressed conservative prime minister, is using his legal "lame duck" status to avoid a meeting with Martti Ahtisaari, UN envoy for Kosovo, later this week.

In an interview with the Financial Times yesterday, Mr Bozovic said he had looked too closely into politically motivated murders since the fall of the Milosevic regime - including the assassination of Zoran Djindjic, Serbia's pro-western prime minister, in March 2003. Being fired "is a political punishment for me", Mr Bozovic said. Fair use.

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