Archive for the ‘Balkan (Englisch)’ Category

Bulgaria: Former Spy Chief Becomes Country’s First Top Official Jailed for Corruption

Donnerstag, August 13th, 2015

Bulgaria: Former Spy Chief Becomes Country’s First Top Official Jailed for Corruption

Bulgarian former intelligence chief, General Kircho Kirov, has been sentenced to ten years in prison for embezzlement.

Screen Shot 2015 08 10 at 2.24.05 PMKircho Kirov (left) on trial in Sofia.The judgment, passed by a military court in Sofia on Friday, also stipulated that half Kirov’s property be confiscated.

Kirov stole 4.7 million Bulgarian leva (US$ 2.63 million) between 2007 and 2011, falsifying more than 1,000 expense claims, according to prosecutors.

The court said the sentence given was the minimum possible, but Kirov intends to appeal it. He denies wrongdoing, claiming the money was used to recruit informers.

He told reporters that he believed the case was “politically motivated”, citing the fact the trial was held behind closed doors.

He claimed to trust the Bulgarian justice system but said he believed he was not given a fair opportunity to defend himself, according to the Bulgarian News Agency.

He told Bulgarian public radio station BNR: „This verdict fits in with the current political climate and is a response to claims imposed on our country by outside factors.”

Kirov must bring his appeal before the Military Appellate Court within 15 days of the original judgment.

The criminal investigation into Kirov lasted more than a year and a half, beginning in 2012. He had headed the intelligence service from 2003 until 2012.

The European Union, which Bulgaria joined in 2007, has consistently criticized the Bulgarian government for failing to combat domestic corruption.

Prior to Kirov’s case, the government had not convicted any top official on graft charges.

EU – US finance only criminals, faschist and stupids of the Human Rights and NGO Mafia

Dienstag, August 11th, 2015

All crime groups in Balkan, financed by the leader of crime in Brüssel and European Commission. European Commission is a motor for preparation of false reports, in order of the Ukraine and Balkan Mafia.

11 Aug 15

EU Scraps Grant For Popovic’s Women’s Project

On the request of 52 human rights groups from the region, the European Commission has withdrawn from financing the Western Balkans Female Government project, run by the controversial Serbian figure, Vladimir Beba Popovic.

Dusica Tomovic, Sasa Dragojlo
BIRN

Podgorica, Belgrade

The Europen Commission

A group of regional NGOs on Tuesday welcomed the decision of Brussels not to fund a project on women’s rights run by the Montenegro-based Institute for Public Policy, found by Vladimir Popovic „Beba“.

Under pressure from the civil sector, the EU changed its decision to award 127,000 euros to Popovic’s organization, after the  organizations said he had promoted an unworthy campaign against Montenegrin right activist Vanja Calovic, which they said discredited his right to deal with women’s issues.

„Given the concern at regional level about the allocation of grants, I asked the executive agency responsible for the implementation of the programme to suspend the signature of this contract,“ the response from Matthias Ruete, the director general of the Directorate of Migration and Home Affairs in the European Commission, said.

The Belgrade-based NGO Autonomous Women Centre on Tuesday said it was „pleased that the European Commission has adopted such a decision.

„It is generally good news,“ the NGO added.

In another reaction on the EU decision, the Montenegrin Centre for Women’s Rights said the decision gave hope that EU funding competitions are not „just a formality“.

In June, 52 NGOs from Montenegro, Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia and Slovenia sent a letter to the President of the European Commission regarding the financing of the Public Policy Institute through the program Europe for Citizens.

The NGOs said the Institute director, Vladimir Beba Popovic, had led an „unworthy campaign“ against the civil society activist Vanja Calovic and indirectly against other civil society activists who are critical of the Montenegrin authorities.

The latter called the campaign against Calovic „perfidious and ruthless“, said it was based on gender discrimination, and aimed to destroy not only her professional integrity, but also her personal reputation and the ability to lead a normal life.

„It is therefore incomprehensible that an organization headed by a man who has publicly stated that he distributed videos intended to seriously harm a woman’s integrity was awarded EU funding for a project to promote women’s rights,“ the NGOs said.

This heated reaction from the non-governmental sector about Popovic followed a series of articles in the Montenegrin edition of the Belgrade-based tabloid Informer last year, accusing Calovic of bestiality.

Calovic, a prominent critic of the Montenegrin government, accused Popovic of being responsible for a video posted on the internet that led to the accusations printed in Informer.

Popovic denied having played any role in the campaign conducted against Calovic in the pages of Informer but added that he would be happy to share the video on the internet “whenever I have the chance”.

Popovic was the former information chief for the Serbian government and in 2013 founded his own NGO in Montenegro and in Serbia.

Critics says he acts as an informal media adviser to Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic and to Serbian premier Aleksandar Vucic – and has been behind media attacks on the opponents of both leaders.

http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/bussels-cuts-funds-for-beba-popovic-s-regional-project-08-11-2015

US Show: WAR AGAINST TERRORISTS Macedonia launches operation to find IS recruiters

Freitag, August 7th, 2015
macedonia-arrests-nine-isis-suspects-08-07-2015

Macedonia Arrests Nine ISIS Suspects

Nine people have been arrested and the police are searching for another 27 in a large-scale operation across the country aimed at detaining suspected Islamist radicals.

The German, British, US Money Laundering Maschine: Grand Theft Moldova

Donnerstag, August 6th, 2015

Grand Theft Moldova

  • Published: Friday, 24 July 2015 14:04
    • by Paul Radu, Mihai Munteanu, Iggy Ostanin

    The bank theft was so outsized and bold that citizens of the Republic of Moldova came out in the streets this past May by the thousands to protest: “We want our billion back!”

    They used the number — US$ 1 billion – that news accounts reported had gone missing from three Moldovan banks in November of 2014.  Unsure who to blame, the protestors denounced the government, politicians, banks and organized crime.

    The theft was a serious setback for Moldova, one of Europe’s poorest countries, with a gross domestic product of only US$ 8 billion and an average wage of US$ 200 per month.

    It set off chaos in the local banking system and led to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund suspending financial aid to the country earlier this year. The European Union also froze funding for Moldova until a new government was formed. These moves prompted fears that the country might default on its international obligations.

    The protestors last spring, outraged as they were, didn’t know the half of what had been done to them. The November billion was just the latest outrageous crime in a massive, decade-long series by criminals who use this small, Eastern European country as their personal bank.

    They also didn’t know that police could have shut down the ring years ago when they confiscated key company stamps and documents central to the corruption ring. But higher-ups stepped in and prevented arrests. The police returned the stamps and documents — which were then used six years later to launder huge sums.

    Moldova’s problem goes way behind a single audacious theft.  It involves a transnational nexus of government workers, organized criminals and businessmen, all of them untouchable despite their crimes.

    A police investigation continues but it seems nobody in the government or law enforcement has had the knowledge, skill, or desire to get at the root of the problem.

    The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) analyzed tens of thousands of records, and found that the same people who stole the bank money operated a seemingly unrelated, large-scale, money laundering operation that laundered more than US$ 20 billion, much of it from Russian and Russian state companies, over the past seven years.

    “The main authors of the theft are not in Moldova, they are in the east,” said former Prime Minister Ion Sturza in a television interview. “Moldova laundered Russian Federation money.”

     

    The Vanishing Billions

    Moldova is a tiny country squeezed between the interests of Russia and the European Union. Despite or perhaps because of its rampant poverty, it has grown into one of the biggest money laundering hubs on the continent.

    Billions in black money flow annually through local banks. Moldova is a proxy – most of the money flowing through its banking system is not Moldovan. But the process has corrupted Moldovan society and wreaked havoc on the country’s politics, economy and judiciary.

    The November billion vanished after the banks gave loans to companies owned by people whose identities remain hidden in a maze of offshore corporations. The borrowers took the money and ran. The collapse of these loans was a serious blow to a Moldovan banking sector already buffeted by corruption scandals:

    • The Magnitsky Affair began in 2007 when US$ 230 million was stolen from the Russian budget. Eventually, the money was routed through a group of Moldovan banks; some of it was traced to high-end real estate in New York City.
    • The Russian Laundromat, uncovered by OCCRP in October of 2014, was much bigger, passing US$ 20 billion in stolen Russian funds through some of the same Moldovan banks en route to Europe.

    The Moldovan government did try to trace the missing billion. In January 2015, it hired the private global due-diligence company, Kroll Inc. Kroll’s first report was leaked to the public by Andrian Candu, the Moldovan Parliament’s president, just days before the mass protests. It revealed little about who ended up with the money, further deepening the mystery.

    Following the Kroll report, the Moldovan authorities placed Israeli-born businessman Ilan Shor under house arrest.  Shor’s name had been mentioned in the report in connection with the bad loans. Shor runs Banca de Economii bank (the bank involved in the Magnitsky case and one of the three banks robbed) and a football club in Moldova.

    Police are still investigating Shor and consider him a suspect in the theft, but they are unsure of his role. He says he’s innocent. In June, he was elected mayor of the small town of Orhei in Moldova.

    A major stumbling block for investigators was the fact that in November 2014, right after the theft, an armored transport vehicle carrying 12 sacks of bank documents related to the fraud was stolen and burned in what looked like a well-executed plan to erase any trail that might have led back to the organizers.

    This was deja-vu.

    The same thing happened in the Magnitsky case, when a truck carrying bank records related to that theft crashed and burned, impairing the ability of the Russian law enforcement to investigate.

     

    The Raiders and the Stamps

    Chisinau building where police found mysterious box of rubber stamps.Chisinau building where police found mysterious box of rubber stamps. The fondness for using Moldovan banks for crime dates back a decade. The mid 2000s were wild years when the local police were overwhelmed by both the advanced money laundering techniques the fraudsters developed and by rampant corruption in their own ranks.

    A confidential 2011 Moldovan police report summarized that:  „Our investigations and analysis indicate that an organized group specialized in ‘raider’ attacks against large companies operates on the territories of Moldova, Ukraine and Russia. Between 2005 and 2010, this group used decisions issued by courts in Moldova, Ukraine and Moldova to get more than US$ 100 million.“

    (A raider attack is the hostile and illegal takeover of a company, sometimes achieved through violence and sometimes through forgery, fraud or corrupt court decisions).

    In some cases the raiders were only interested in extorting large sums from companies. A typical scheme might involve getting corrupt judges in Moldova or Ukraine to issue judgments in the raiders’ favor in cases where they claimed fictitious debts from state-owned commercial entities.

    Using the court-approved debt as a basis, they could legally take over the company.

    The report details a few such cases at length, but one in particular, Penal Case 2008030181, seeded the huge money-laundering tsunami that crashed over the country in the following years.

    …………………

    The Lost Opportunity

    In July 2008, Moldovan law enforcement officers were working a relatively small $4 million fraud case when the investigation led them to 67 Bucharest Street in the center of the Moldovan capital of Chisinau. They raided three offices there and confiscated six desktop computers full of files.

    It was all pretty routine, until they located three paper boxes under one desk that contained “an imposing number” of official rubber stamps belonging to companies registered in exotic offshore locations.

    Two of the stamps were related to the fraud they were investigating, but the rest meant nothing to them: Mirabax Limited, Liberton Associates, Felina Investments, Albany Insurance, Caldon Holdings and many other companies, including some based in the US state of Delaware or the United Kingdom.

    Some belonged to Moldovan companies and one of these, Luminare LTD, was a company founded by Veaceslav Platon, a key player in Moldovan political and business circles. Platon, 42, is Moldova’s sixth richest businessman and a politician with dual Moldovan-Russian citizenship.  He was a member of the Moldovan Parliament between 2009 and 2010.

    He has also been on the governing board of at least two Moldovan banks including Moldindconbank, which has frequently been at the center of money-laundering controversies. He is frequently called by media “The No. 1 Raider in Moldova.”

    ………………

    The Agents and the Easterners

    In the beginning of 2015, while the Moldovan government was asking Kroll to investigate the November theft, OCCRP reporters were knocking on doors thousands of kilometers away from Chisinau, in Edinburgh, Scotland.

    Two street addresses on Brunswick Street in the Scottish capital kept popping up in records of the British companies involved in the November billion theft, and also in many other much bigger instances of massive money-laundering and raider attacks in Eastern Europe.

    Brunswick Street does not look affluent. Cheap cars are parked outside terraced red brick housing and the two addresses don’t look like the headquarters for multi-billion-dollar businesses.

    The people who live there are “formation agents”, people who set up companies for others who wish to conceal their identities, and “proxies” or front men for the people who actually own the companies.

    At one of the Brunswick Street addresses, the door was answered by Ishbel Papantoniou, a plump lady in her early 60s who is the wife of the man behind the Brunswick companies, Marios Papantoniou. He is a former chief tax inspector in Cyprus who moved to Edinburgh in the early 1990s and set up an accounting and company-formation business there.

    At first, Ms. Papantoniou greeted a Russian-speaking reporter in a friendly manner. She said that “a lot of Russian companies, from what I know, register so they can work within Europe.” She also added that Russian businesses might want to do this because “it opens a world with less restrictions, so to speak.”

    On a second visit, however, Ms. Papantoniou became agitated when the reporter told her that OCCRP was investigating high-level money-laundering operations involving companies where she, her husband, her son and her 81-year-old mother showed up in paperwork.

    “I don’t think that’s any of your concern at all. You’re looking into something that you’ve no idea what you’re getting into,” she said. “We offer office facilities for these companies…there’s absolutely nothing that’s illegal or anything. You’re trying to find something in a company that’s providing services, that pays income tax, that provides employment for people in this country.”

    The offices next door belong to a company called Axiano that was also established by Marios Papantoniou. This company, too, was the registration agent for a number of companies involved in Eastern European fraud. In the office reception area, several women were having lunch. A closed-circuit TV camera was trained on the entrance.

    A young woman answered and, in an Eastern European accent, said that Marios Papantoniou wasn’t available, but his son Alexandros was.

    The former tax chief inspector’s son arrived soon after but seemed nervous and reluctant to speak. Expressionless, he brushed aside the questions with the invariable statement, “the best person to talk to might be my father.”

    OCCRP made one more attempt to talk to Marios Papantoniou to seek his response to a document signed by Kerry Jane Farrington, an employee of the local Edinburgh Crematorium, who Papantoniou used as a proxy in companies he established for Eastern Europeans.

    Marios Papantoniou was unavailable, so OCCRP left the document with a Russian-speaking office worker. Marios Papantoniou promptly responded via email but refused to answer questions about the involvement of his companies in Eastern corruption and crime.

     

    The Grand Mockery

    On April 5, 2013, Moldovan Judge Victor Orindas issued a verdict: a group of Russian companies must send US$ 580 million to the Latvian bank account of Mirabax Investments Limited, a Brunswick company connected to Marios Papantoniou and one of the companies whose rubber stamp was confiscated and then returned by the police back in 2008.

    The scam, outlined in OCCRP’s series The Russian Laundromat, was simple.  A Russian company wishing to move money into Europe would guarantee a contract signed between two fake companies.  Then one of the fake companies would file a complaint against the other in a Moldovan court for non-payment and ask that the guarantor, the Russian company, make good on the unfulfilled contract.  A bribed Moldovan judge would certify the debt as real and order payment.  Then the Russian company would pay the fake company, which was actually working with them.  Combined with the judge’s order, the money could be moved through Moldova into a Latvian bank account – freshly laundered and ready to use.

    The rubber stamps the police briefly seized seven years previously were used over and over again on documents that were introduced as evidence into Moldovan courts to falsely certify debts that finally amounted to US$ 20 billion.

    By 2012, the organized crime group that began operations in 2005 had upped their game significantly and had become brazen. The initial frauds totaling millions had turned into billions. When Judge Orindas issued the US$ 580 million verdict he was ruling on a clumsily forged document; other judges across Moldova did likewise, enabling the criminals to move huge volumes of money from Russia.

    All the Moldovan rulings were based on promissory notes presented as evidence to courts. In the case of the US$ 580 million, the promissory note was concluded between a Delaware company called Albany Insurance and a British company, Golbridge Trading Limited. Albany promised to pay Golbridge more than half a billion US dollars and the note is signed by a Mrs. Jasse Grant Hester and rubber-stamped with Albany’s stamp, another one of the stamps seized and returned back in 2008.

    But there is no Golbridge Trading in the UK and there is no Mrs. Jasse Grant Hester. There is, however, a Mr. Jesse Grant Hester who is the director of the Delaware-based Albany Insurance and there is a London-based Goldbridge Trading Limited, a company connected to Brunswick street and, again, one of the names that emerged in the police operations conducted six years earlier in Moldova and Ukraine. In the end, Goldbridge diverted the money to Mirabax, the company that ultimately cashed in in its Latvian bank account.

    …………………….

    https://www.occrp.org/en/investigations/4203-grand-theft-moldova

    Korrupter Deppen Club der KAS, CDU und der Steinmeier Banden: Moldawien’s Gangster Boss: Gaburici musste zurücktreten

    Einzige Qualifikation: Billig Schallplatte mit rufen wie: „Demokratie, Reformen“ und dann vermarkten die dümmsten Internationalen, jeden Verbrecher als Held und Demokratien.

    Allen voran Frank Walter Steinmeier, dessen Scheckbuch Diplomatie, berüchtigt ist, ein anderes Wort für „Berufs Kriminellen, mit Profi Auslands Bestechung“, wobei seine Geschäfte mit Heckler & Koch im Ausland, an Mexianische Banditen, Internationale Terroristen das harmloseste noch sind.

    Wie allgemein üblich, zuletzt auch Victor Ponta in Rumänien, hat praktisch jeder heute gefakte und gefälschte Diplome (auch die EU Vertreter), aber wohl nur in Moldawien, Albanien und dem Kosovo, hat man gefälschte Schul Zeugnisse, einem Markenzeichen der Dumm Internationalen und der installierten Vasallen rund um den Georg Soros Zirkel, wie man mit Zoran Zaev, gerade auch in Mazedonien sah.

    Das Land ist geplündert, allein 1 Milliarde € verschwand aus den Banken  und nun tritt der installierte Gangster Gaburici zurück, der Hoffnungs Träger der KAS Banden, welche nur mit Dumm Kriminellen, Banditen, Räubern und Mörder zusammen arbeiten, identisch auch oft die Grünen Bande mit der HBS, der FES, welche alle Steuer finanziert ihrem Banditentum huldigen, schlimmer wie die Camorra und Nghradeta.

    „“

    Mitte Februar hatte Gaburici nach zähen Verhandlungen eine prowestliche Minderheitsregierung aus Liberaldemokraten und Demokraten gebildet. Zuletzt hatte es verstärkt Forderungen gegeben, eine neue Regierung zu bilden.““

    Moldau Zeugnisse gefälscht? Regierungschef Gaburici tritt zurück

    Moldau: Zeugnisse gefälscht? Regierungschef Gaburici tritt zurück

    Weil er Zeugnisse gefälscht haben soll, stand Moldaus Regierungschef Gaburici unter Druck. Jetzt hat der Premier aufgegeben – und nach nur vier Monaten seinen Rücktritt verkündet. mehr… Video | Forum ]

    Die Wirtschaftliche Zerstörung von der Ukraine, Georgien und Moldau mit dem EU Abkommen

    Hans-Gert Pöttering – KAS und die Zerstörung mit Gangstern von Moldawien bis nach Bulgarien und die Politik Mafia ein Balkan Problem

    Wie sieht die “Systemkriminalität” und von “Systemkorruption” aus: am Beispiel der CDU – KAS. In Albanien mit der Super Mafia, u.a Dr. Franz Jung, im Kosovo und Mazedonien, wie in Kiew mit Todesschwadronen unterwegs, welche auch Menschen entführen, verbrennen.

    http://balkanblog.org/2015/06/12/korrupter-deppen-club-der-kas-cdu-und-des-steinmeier-banden-moldawiens-gangster-boss-gaburici-musste-zuruecktreten/comment-page-1/#comment-38208

Wenn man Profi Kriminellen Asylanten Reise Freiheit gibt: Serbien ist ein Opfer des inkomptenden EU Debakels

Dienstag, August 4th, 2015

Serbia has so far registered 83,000 migrants and 500 of them applied for asylum in the country, UNHCR representative in Serbia…»

disappointed-asylum-seekers-head-home-to-albania-08-19-2015

Feature

Disappointed Asylum Seekers Head Home to Albania

19 Aug 15

At Tirana airport, relatives await the return of family members who failed to obtain asylum in Germany – who have chosen to go home or been repatriated.

Aleksandra Bogdani
BIRN

Tirana

Han Tola embraces his daughter after her return in Tirana from Germany asylum seeker camps | Photo: Ivana Dervishi/BIRN

Han Tola returned dismayed to the arrival hall at Tirana’s Mother Tereza airport, only two months after he said goodbye to his daughter.

“She stayed about six weeks in a camp. It was futile,” the 60-year-old told BIRN, scrutinizing the exit gate in order to spot his daughter after she landed.

She was returning along with dozens of other Albanians on a charter flight from Frankfurt organized by the German authorities.

Han, the father of eight, brought his large family in 1990 from the mountainous northern region of Kukes to live in a big shantytown near the capital.

He still owns houses in both Kukes and Tirana and his family doesn’t seem that poor.

Like many others waiting in the airport, Han thinks his country is a hopeless case, however.

For his daughter, who had hoped to move to the United States, Germany was not the first choice.

After staying a month-and-a-half in a refugee camp in Frankfurt, she voluntarily withdrew her asylum request.

In exchange, she got back her passport “clean” and was given a free ticket to go back home.

Last Thursday’s charter flight with 83 people on board was the fourth special flight organized during the last two weeks.

It landed in Tirana at 3pm. About 40 minutes later, relatives awaiting loved ones queued in the exit hall, some not sure if they should stay there or go to the police station.

A police officer tried to calm the crowd, saying that those who had agreed to voluntary return would not need a police interview but could simply go home.

“I am waiting for my own brother. He is being returned from Germany,” he said.

About 30,000 Albanians filed requests for asylum in Germany in the first half of this year, German Interior Ministry data show.

It is an enormous number for a country that in the last census had just 2.8 million inhabitants.

Over recent days, the German authorities have started a public information campaign in the Balkans, with messages in Albanian and Serbian, warning people that they have no chance of obtaining asylum in Germany.

However, previous attempts by both Albanian and German authorities to convince people not to leave have achieved little.

The number of asylum seekers from Albania has shown constant growth this year, peaking in June, when 5,932 Albanian nationals filed applications, not only in Germany but in other European countries, albeit in smaller numbers.

Albanian asylum seekers repatriated in Tirana International Airport on August 13, 2015. Photo: Ivana Dervishi/BIRN

During the last two weeks, Germany and Luxembourg have repatriated about 300 asylum seekers to Albania – just 1 per cent of those who are still in the camps.

“We expect many more repatriations,” Ermal Milori, chief of police at the Airport Commissariat, told BIRN.

Albanian police follow two different procedures with returnees. Those who returned voluntarily are treated like any other traveler while those who are repatriated forcibly are questioned for hours before leaving.

As the returnees started to appear in the exit gate, we saw several teenagers. Han’s daughter followed them.

“The camp was dreadful,” she said after embracing her father.

Many from those who returned described the poor conditions in the camps in Germany as the main reason for coming home, as well as fear of penalties.

The reality encountered in Germany was very different from what one 20-year-old from Shkodra in north Albania had expected.

“I went with the hope of finding a job but it was impossible,” the young man said.

Milori, the chief of police in Tirana airport, says the police are more concerned about those who are leaving than about those who are returning.

But he adds that it is hard to spot people leaving. Most asylum seekers uses the buses, or catch a plane from Kosovo or Macedonia when they leave for Germany, because plane tickets from Tirana are more expensive and because the Albanian police conduct more searches.

“If we find various documents of old newspapers containing info about conflicts in their luggage, then we stop them,” Milori said.

Photo caption: Albanian asylum seekers repatriated in Tirana International Airport on 13 August 2015. Photo: Ivana Dervishi/BIRN

A study published on the German Interior Ministry website states that the number of asylum seekers from the Balkans quadrupled in the last few months. The Germans call them “social asylum seekers”.

The report says that although Albania, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro are very different in term of politics, economics and ethnicity, all have a similar trend towards mass emigration.

“The causes of the last wave [of asylum-seekers] in Germany are simply low standards of life and social marginalization,” the ministry study noted.

The US policy with its funded terrorists in the Balkans and in the world

Montag, Juli 27th, 2015

US Kongresß Report

Al Qaeda and Affiliates: Historical

Perspective, Global Presence, and Implications for U.S. Policy
John Rollins, Coordinator
Acting Section Research Manager/Specialist in Terrorism and National
Security
February 5, 2010

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/terror/R41070.pdf


June 1993: Saudis Urge US to Lead in Military Assistance to Bosnian Muslims

Richard Holbrooke.Richard Holbrooke. [Source: US State Department]Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al Faisal urges President Bill Clinton to take the lead in military assistance to Bosnia. Richard Holbrooke, US ambassador to Germany at the time, draws up plans for covert assistance. [Wiebes, 2003, pp. 195]

Entity Tags: Turki al-Faisal, William Jefferson (?Bill?) Clinton, Richard Charles Albert Holbrooke
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs Richard Holbrooke persuades the State Department to license Military Professional Resources Inc. (MPRI), a private military contractor, to provide training to the Croatian army. [Ripley, 1999, pp. 81-82, 90; Scotsman, 3/2/2001] According to MPRI information officer Joseph Allred, the firm exists so that ?the US can have influence as part of its national strategy on other nations without employing its own army.? [New American, 5/10/1999; Serbian National Federation, 8/1999]

Entity Tags: Kosovo Liberation Army, Military Professional Resources Inc., Richard Charles Albert Holbrooke, Croatian army

Early September 1994: US Military Begins Advising and Assisting Bosnian Muslim Army
Edit event

Brigadier Gen. Michael Hayden (left, with glasses), US Marine Corps Gen. David Mize (front and center), and US Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Edward Hanlon Jr. (behind Mize) in Gornji Vakuf, Bosnia, on September 4, 1994.Brigadier Gen. Michael Hayden (left, with glasses), US Marine Corps Gen. David Mize (front and center), and US Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Edward Hanlon Jr. (behind Mize) in Gornji Vakuf, Bosnia, on September 4, 1994. [Source: Paul Harris] (click image to enlarge)US ambassador Charles Thomas; Assistant Secretary of State for Europe Richard Holbrooke, his deputy Robert Frasure, head of intelligence for US European Command Brigadier Gen. Michael Hayden, US Air Force Gen. Charles Boyd, US Marine Corps Gen. David Mize, and US Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Edward Hanlon Jr., meet with the Muslim Bosnian army commander for Central Bosnia, Mehmet Alagic, in the town of Gornji Vakuf. The US group also visits Mostar, which is also controlled by the Bosnian Muslims. The Pentagon claims the US diplomats are there to familiarize themselves with the situation on the ground and the generals ?just happened to be along,? but in appears in fact these meetings are part of a US effort to help the Croats and Muslims work together in upcoming offensives. Following this visit, US ?logistics advisers? move into key locations throughout Bosnia, including the UN-controlled Tuzla airport. US Special Forces help build a secret airstrip in Visoko, central Bosnia, to land heavy transport aircraft (see Late 1994-Late 1995), and mysterious flights begin arriving at the Tuzla airports a few months later (see February-March 1995). [Observer, 11/20/1994; Scotsman, 12/3/1995] Hayden will later become head of the NSA and then head of the CIA.

Entity Tags: David Mize, Edward Hanlon Jr., Robert Frasure, Michael Hayden, Charles Boyd, Charles Thomas, Richard Charles Albert Holbrooke, Mehmet Alagic

Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline
http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=richard_charles_albert_holbrooke

an American invention, these articles

http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/file/show//Images/headers/isis-in-the-balkans-980.png

new-isis-threats-to-balkan-countries Pro-ISIS Video Calls for Balkan Caliphate New video published briefly by unknown authors on YouTube calls for the conquest of Serbia, the creation of an Islamic caliphate in the Western Balkans and the destruction of democracy.

and others

Background

Western Balkans on Alert Over ISIS Threat

Countries in the region have raised security levels and introduced new precautions to counter the threat of terrorist attacks by Islamic State.

„OSAMAGATE“
by Michel Chossudovsky
Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa

Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG), Montréal
Posted at globalresearch.ca 9 October 2001

Confronted with mounting evidence, the US Administration can no longer deny its links to Osama. While the CIA admits that Osama bin Laden was an „intelligence asset“ during the Cold War, the relationship is said to „go way back“. Most news reports consider that these Osama-CIA links belong to the „bygone era“ of the Soviet-Afghan war. They are invariably viewed as „irrelevant“ to an understanding of present events. Lost in the barrage of recent history, the role of the CIA in supporting and developing international terrorist organisations during the Cold war and its aftermath is casually ignored or downplayed by the Western media.
Yes, We did support Him, but „He Went Against Us“

http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO110A.html

George Soros, , CIA, Freedom House, NED, NATO and the Western Color Revolution in Macedonia

Freitag, Juli 24th, 2015
CIA, Georg SorosGangsterZoranZaev, mit Martin Schulz, als „Rumpelstilzchen“ derEUbekanntundbeijederAntiDemokratischenAktionmitKriminellendabei.

PES Budapest 2015: Ganster Treffen der Korruption: Zoran Zaev Ma

PES Budapest 2015: Ganster Treffen der Korruption: Zoran Zaev Ma

George Soros, NATO and the Western Color Revolution in Macedonia

Image

© Unknown

With tensions heating up between the United States and Russia over a number of issues – Ukraine, BRICS, sanctions, and NATO encirclement to name a few – the West continues its move in toward Russia’s borders. The latest target in the Anglo-American destabilization campaign has now come forward – Macedonia.

In the attempt to destroy the elected government of Macedonia, George Soros, NATO, and the Western Color Revolution apparatus have all come together to ensure that the will of the Macedonian people is denied as is the will of populations in all Western-style democracies.

As informed observers might well suspect, any color revolution taking place in Eastern Europe will involve the heavy hand of George Soros.

George Soros is most well-known for playing a major role in the funding and facilitating of the „Bulldozer Revolution“ in Serbia that overthrew Slobodan Milosevic in 2000, Georgia’s „Rose Revolution“ of 2003, the 2006 push to move Turkey toward a more Islamist governing structure, and even the Occupy movement in the United States among a great many others – none of which brought anything other than greater misery, impoverishment, and police state mechanisms to bear on the general public. The Occupy movement, being the only exception, still brought nothing to its participants except the opportunity to burn off excess anger and energy along with a few cracked protester skulls. It was otherwise an incredible waste of time.

In addition, George Soros has been heavily involved in the social unrest and movement-wrecking activity that has taken place all across the United States in recent months. From Florida to Ferguson and then on to Baltimore, George Soros‘ Foundations have been involved in making sure that not only are American citizens unable to overcome racial divisions with mutual cooperation but that even the racially isolated participants are unable to accomplish anything of substance.

In Macedonia, like in the United States, Soros organizations work under the pretense of left cover. In other words, Soros NGOs fund and operate organizations and movements that are seen as Left in nature but are, in reality, revolutionary organizations designed to push a political agenda, change Macedonian culture, install puppet regimes, and ultimately serve the purpose of the Anglo-American oligarchy.

George Soros‘ most well-known NGO is the Open Society Institute, is highly active in Macedonia and itself works with a plethora of „civil society organizations“ throughout the country that function as the OSI (and hence the West’s) tentacles in Macedonian society. This is what has prompted some in Macedonia to say in regards to Soros that „Soros came into Macedonia like a Trojan horse, and now he is an octopus.“

The OSI has been active in Macedonia for some time, with Vladimir Milcin heading the organization for nearly twenty years. Milcin was a former police informant in the days of Communism. Milcin was instrumental in ratting out a dissident actor Risto Siskov.

The Soros networks in Macedonia are extremely powerful. As Jay Nordlinger reported for the National Review after having traveled to Macedonia,

In America for the past many years, we have had a plethora of Soros-funded groups: MoveOn.org, Media Matters, the Center for American Progress, etc. Macedonia has its rough equivalents. But they mean more in Macedonia than the Soros-funded groups do in America. Back home, we have a zillion conservative groups to counter the Soros groups. The Left has its billionaires, we have ours. You hit me with Soros? Okay, I’ll hit you with a Koch or two. In Macedonia, I’m told, there is no tradition of donating money to a cause. There aren’t think tanks and activist groups and the rest on the right. So, the „Sorosoids“ own the field.

While this may be a bit of an exaggeration – the Right clearly has its own agents of control and dissemination – it is clearly true that the Soros influence extends far beyond being able to drive public opinion through clever networking ideas. Indeed, through a much tighter grasp upon media outlets themselves, Soros is vastly more influential in the way that news and events are reported than in other locations, even those located in Eastern Europe.

That being said, it should be pointed out that Macedonian news outlets like Telma and 24 Vesti are both major players in promoting the anti-government protests (in addition to other operations). Both of these outlets are funded by George Soros.

Indeed, even „opposition leader“ Zoran Zaev is a notorious Soros-funded agent with close connections to the CIA. Not only Zaev, but his entire Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) party (the former Communist party) has been entirely taken over by the Soros machine. As Wayne Madsen writes,

Zaev and [Radmila] Sekerinska are said by Macedonian insiders to be nothing more than fronts for former Prime Minister and President Branko Crvenkovski who continues to head up the SDSM and accept large amounts of largesse from such CIA NGO laundry operations as the National Democratic Institute (NDI), National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Freedom House, and Soros’s Open Society Institute (OSI) to foment a themed revolution against Gruevksi’s right-of-center VMRO-DPMNE government.

It is also a known fact that the OSI receives are large amount of money from the US State Department’s USAID.

Interestingly enough, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, has been charged by Macedonian intelligence of conspiring with Zaev of the SDSM.

Wayne Madsen further describes the role of Victoria Nuland by writing:

The unapologetic foul-mouthed Nuland met on the side of the 51st Munich Security Conference in Germany with Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki and President Gjorge Ivanov to express her displeasure at Gruevski’s insurrection charges against her friend Zaev and his SDSM co-conspirators. Earlier, Nuland had offered to mediate a long-standing dispute between Greece and Macedonia over the latter’s use of the name Macedonia, which some Greeks consider to be a solely Greek name. Macedonian observers viewed Nuland’s interest in the name dispute to be a trap that would enable a pro-U.S. government, along with the Zionist and global banker baggage that comes with any such «themed» coup d’etat, to seize power in Skopje. Nuland and her co-conspirators were hoping for a replay of Kiev in what can be termed «Kiev Version 2.0.»

Nuland and her co-conspirators in Skopje are alarmed over the speed at which the Macedonian security services rounded up the coup plotters. Macedonian police, in raids conducted in Skopje and Veles, seized five laptop computers, three desktop computers, 19 mobile phones, 100 CDs and DVDs, 17 hard disks, and 9 savings deposit books used by the coup plotters, including a number linked to Soros-financed NGOs. The bank accounts of the plotters reportedly were flush with healthy cash deposits from the CIA as the date of the planned coup approached.

The use of social media by the Soros/CIA coup plotters should come as no surprise. Social media served at the very core of the themed revolutions sponsored by the CIA and Soros twice in Ukraine (Orange Revolution and Euro-Maidan uprising), Jasmine Revolution (Tunisia), Lotus Revolution (Egypt), Rose Reviolution (Georgia), Tulip Revolution (Kyrgyszstan), and Green Revolution (Iran). In the case of Macedonia, there are clear indications that the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) Thomas Melia, responsible for DRL’s work in Europe, including Russia, as well as the Middle East and North Africa, conspired directly with Zaev to mount a coup against the Gruevski government. Melia is the former deputy director of Freedom House, a Cold War-era neoconservative bevvy of U.S. war hawks based in New York. Although founded in 1941 by such progressives as Eleanor Roosevelt, Ralph Bunche, journalist Dorothy Thompson, novelist Rex Stout (creator of Nero Wolfe), and Republican presidential candidate Wendell Willkie (who would be considered by today’s Republicans in the U.S. as a stark-raving liberal), Freedom House has devolved into a neoconservative chatter source having employed as their board members in recent years such war hawk cretins as Paul Wolfowitz, Ken Adelman, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Donald Rumsfeld, and Otto Reich. Freedom House has been caught red-handed funneling CIA money to opposition groups in Iran, Sudan, Russia, and China. In essence, Freedom House, like Soros’s NGOs, serves as a conduit for CIA support for rebellious opposition forces in dozens of countries around the world, countries that now include Macedonia, as well as Hungary, Venezuela, Syria, Egypt, Serbia, Jordan, Mexico, and Cuba.

In addition, it has been reported by a number of media outlets, most notably the Russian and Macedonian press, that George Soros has tapped into the Canvas network, enlisting the organization to „help“ in Macedonian protests. ….

http://www.sott.net/article/296717-George-Soros-NATO-and-the-Western-Color-Revolution-in-Macedonia
500.000 Tode gab es mit den kriminellen Umtrieben des CIA, der Rand Gruppe in Indonesien, vor 50 Jahren.
Wie im Balkan heute, wurde damals das liberale Indonesien in ein Construct von Islam Terroristen und strengen Islame Ritten umgewandelt. Genau das Chaos versuchen die Amerikaner vor allem mit einer Bildungs Sabotage mit Kriminellen, die sich Politiker nennen zu beschleunigen. Die Flucht Welle aus dem Balkan spricht für sich. Auch wurde wie in Chile, durch die CIA Partner der Generalstabs Chef in Indonesien ermordet, identisch was man geplant hatte, in der Ukraine, den Staatsspräsidenten zu ermorden. Damals war der Mi6 auch schon unterwegs, bei dem Morden von loyalen Regierungs Militär.
indonesia-massacre-1965

U.S. academics and policy intellectuals with connections to the CIA and RAND Corporation publicly urged their contacts in the Indonesian Army “to strike, sweep their house clean” (Guy Pauker), while “liquidating the enemy’s political and guerrilla armies”

Black Mailing EU System: ‚Secret Tapes‘ on Piran Gulf Dispute Shock Croats

Donnerstag, Juli 23rd, 2015
Abhöraffäre

„Pirangate“ entfacht Grenzstreit zwischen Slowenien und Kroatien

Grafik aus dem Jahr 2010.

Zagreb sucht nach Ausweg aus Schiedsverfahren, Ljubljana empört wegen Spionagemethoden der anderen Seite

23 Jul 15

‚Secret Tapes‘ on Piran Gulf Dispute Shock Croats

After Croatian newspaper published audio tapes of secret talks held between the Slovene judge on the arbitration panel over the Gulf of Piran and the Slovenian representative, Croatia has demanded an investigation.

Sven Milekic
BIRN

Zagreb

Vesna Pusic (left) holding an urgent press conference. | Photo by Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs

Croatian officials have responded angrily to claims made in a newspaper that judges on an arbitation panel concerning a territorial dispute between Croatia and Slovenia were ready to rule in Slovenia’s favour.

The Croatian newspaper Vecernji list on Wednesday published secret audio tapes of Jernej Sekolec, the Slovene judge on the arbitration court over the Gulf of Piran,  talking to Simona Drenik, the representative of Slovenia before the court, discussing confidential conversations between the judges.

In conversations recorded between November 2014 and January 2015, Judge Sekolec allegedly assured Drenik that the court would likely grant Slovenia up to 75 per cent of the maritime waters in the Gulf of Piran, as it wants.

The dispute between between Croatia and Slovenia over the maritime waters on the Istrian peninsula dates back to the break-up of Yugoslavia.

At one point, it resulted in Slovenia blocking Croatia’s EU accession talks in December 2008.

Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor and Slovenian Prime Minister Borut Pahor agreed in October 2009 to international arbitration before the The Hague after which Slovenia withdrew its blockade.

The arbitration panel comprises five judges. Besides Sekolec from Slovenia, Croatia has appointed one judge. The court appointed the other three judges along with the president.

Talks between a judge and the representatives of either of the parties in the dispute are forbidden.

Following the newspaper report, Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic called a press conference on Wednesday, expressing deep concern.

“If any of these allegations were true, it would be absolutely shocking and drastically change the situation in relation to the process,” she said.

She said Croatia had agreed to international arbitration in “good faith”, trusting the professional and impartial conduct of the judges and the court in general.

Pusic said Croatia had already felt doubts about the process this spring, when the Slovene Foreign Minister, Karl Erjavec, issued similar public statements, predicting how the court will decide.

“We will investigate the truth or untruthfulness of these statements,” she stated, adding that she would inform the arbitration court and the European Commission.

Map of disputed maritime territory of the Piran gulf. | Photo by Wikimedia Commons

A source from the Commission said it could comment on the work of the court, however, as Brussels is not a party in the dispute.

Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic on Wednesday said Croatia would use the methods for investigation at its disposal to protect the state’s interests.

“It is possible that this is some kind of error, but if not, we will know how to protect our national interests,” he said.

Tomislav Karamarko, head of strongest opposition Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, said if the reports were true, it clearly meant “influencing the arbitration court’s decisions in an illegal manner”.

He called for unity “in defending national and state interests and Croatia’s right to keep its territory, which apparently some want to take”.

Slovene officials have responded coolly to the complains coming from Croatia. While on vacation in France, Erjaves dismissed the the row, saying it was all part of the pre-election campaign in Croatia. “It is obvious that in Croatia they are very nervous,” he added.

Slovene Prime Minister Miro Cerar said he could not comment on the issue before the court had finished its work, but said the complaints were “an obvious attempt to influence the decision of the arbitration court”.

…..

http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/croatia-slovenia-tensions-rise-with-secret-tapes-published

Corruption Privatisation in Balkan: Greece, Bosnia, Albania, – Patients fight back as doctor convicted in bribe case

Freitag, Juli 17th, 2015

bosnia-s-corrupt-healthcare-comes-under-spotlight analysis

Bosnia’s Corrupt Healthcare Comes Under Spotlight

UNODC Report Bosnia 67 page

Patients fight back as doctor convicted in bribe case

By the Center for Investigative Reporting

For some of the desperate patients who came to him for help, Sarajevo gynecologist and obstetrician Dr. Zijad Lagumdžija represented a last hope. Remzija Džaferović, a 40-year-old mother of a teenager, had just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and was thinking of suicide when she went to him in August 2004. Elvis and Zvjezdana Demirović hoped two years ago that he would be able to help them have the child they longed for.

But Dr. Lagumdžija disappointed these patients, they say. Because of their complaints, he is the first doctor in Bosnia-Herzegovina to be prosecuted for extortion and accepting bribes from patients. Lagumdžija was convicted by the court in late September and faces a fine of up to 10,000 KM, six months’ imprisonment and the possible loss of his license to practice medicine, should a higher court uphold the verdict. ….

 Dr. Bakir Nakaš, thinks doctors should sign a statement when they are employed obliging them not to solicit additional payments from patients.

……………

https://www.cin.ba/en/pacijenti-uzvracaju-udarac-doktor-proglasen-krivim-za-iznudu/

New IMF Loan Slips out of Bosnia’s Reach

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Organized Crime Arrests at Country’s Leading Pharma Firm

History: Richard Perle Terrorists

U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee 1997: Clinton-Approved Iranian Arms Transfers Help Turn Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base

Context of ‘Before October 1997: $400 Million Bosnian Defense Fund Fuels Balkan Conflict’

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The US terrorist financier: Richard Perle: Ilija Jurišić – Former Bosnian official sentenced to 12 years

 

 

Balkan Road Buildung: The Mafia of Bechtel & Enka, Cooperation of the Serb and Albanian PDK Mafia

Montag, Juli 13th, 2015

Original US Mafia with the firm Bechtel, US Department of State and former US Ambassdor Alexander Dell and the Gangster Frank Wisner: Arena Invest’s co-owner Akan Ismaili was ambassador to Washington from 2012 until early 2015, arguably the most important job in Kosovo foreign diplomacy. The millionaire founded IPKO, Kosovo’s second mobile phone operator.Journalist Berat Buzhala, a member of parliament for Thaci’s PDK until 2014 who has links to Ismaili and Musa, was also briefly named as co-owner of the firm in 2009, before it began operating the quarry

Ex-Bridge Watcher Helped Build Kosovo’s “Patriotic Highway”

A ringleader of the 2011 violent uprising against the Pristina government worked for public figures close to the ruling Kosovo Albanian party to cash in on construction of the country’s €1bn ‘patriotic highway’.

Petrit Collaku, Lawrence Marzouk BIRN Pristina

 Barricade blocks the main bridge in Mitrovica
Photo by: Fonet

The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, has uncovered evidence that notorious Serb businessman and nationalist Zvonko Veselinovic transported material for a firm owned by prominent Kosovo Albanians linked to the Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK.

The goods were sold to US construction giant Bechtel and its Turkish partner Enka, the main contractor hired to build Kosovo’s biggest ever infrastructure project, the Pristina-Tirana highway.

Veselinovic was formerly a member of the now disbanded Serb vigilante group Bridge Watchers, blamed for attacks on Albanians in the divided town of Mitrovica. He admits to playing a major role in the July 2011 unrest.

During eight fiery months, border posts were burnt down, makeshift barricades of gravel and trucks appeared across northern Kosovo, a Kosovo Police officer was shot dead and dozens of international peacekeepers and protesters were injured.

But BIRN has discovered that Veselinovic also ferried rocks from the Arena Invest quarry in northern Kosovo until routes were blocked by the barricades he helped create. Arena Invest is owned by three prominent Kosovo Albanians: Pristina’s former ambassador to Washington, the then Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci’s landlord, and a former Kosovo Liberation Army commander – as well as a Kosovo Serb politician.

Veselinovic has portrayed himself as a bulwark against the Kosovo Albanian authorities, garnering support from successive governments for what he describes as his defence of Serb interests in the former province, including from the current Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic.

Arena Invest’s owners do not deny working with Veselinovic, although they argue that they were not responsible for the actions of a “sub-contractor”.

Working with ‘the enemy’

Zvonko Veselinovic protests in north Kosovo
You Tube

In January 2012, Thaci, then Kosovo prime minister, warned his countrymen not to “act with the mentality of Zvonko Veselinovic”.

But just a few months earlier, Arena Invest, a firm owned by his associates, had started doing business with Veselinovic, using his logistical services  as they attempted to profit from the huge boom in construction brought about by Thaci’s decision to build the one-billion-euro highway, a symbol of cooperation between ethnic Albanians in Kosovo and Albania.

Veselinovic rose to international prominence for his role in the 2011 unrest, but he had long been on law-enforcement agencies’ radar and admits to having enriched himself by avoiding paying taxes to Kosovo authorities.

He was tried and cleared of heroin smuggling in 2003 in Serbia, questioned but never charged for a murder in Gracanica, a suburb of Pristina; and arrested by UN police in Kosovo, but later released, on suspicion of another murder committed in 2004. He denies any wrongdoing.

In the following years he was able to take advantage of Serbia’s 2005 decision to remove VAT on goods sold in Serb-dominated northern Kosovo, beyond the control of Pristina, which became a de facto duty-free zone.

The Veselinovic family own two petrol stations and are alleged to have been involved in the smuggling of fuel, cigarettes and alcohol, according to documents seen by BIRN from prosecutors in Mitrovica linked to a current investigation.

Zarko Veselinovic, Zvonko’s brother, was found guilty of obstructing a Kosovo Police officer as he attempted to stop a tanker of smuggled fuel reaching the family’s petrol station in 2010.

To date, however, Zvonko’s close cooperation with senior Albanian figures has remained solely the subject of speculation.

Arena Invest’s co-owner Akan Ismaili was ambassador to Washington from 2012 until early 2015, arguably the most important job in Kosovo foreign diplomacy. The millionaire founded IPKO, Kosovo’s second mobile phone operator.

Alongside Ismaili is IPKO director Bujar Musa, a friend and landlord to former PM Hashim Thaci.

The third owner, Fadil Demiri, was a senior figure in the Kosovo Liberation Army, out of which emerged the PDK political party. He also owns an Albanian branch of Arena Invest which, according to reports in the Serbian press, is due to invest 60m euros in the building of dams in Albania alongside Serbian-state owned firm, Hidrotehnika-hidroenergetika.

The final shareholder, according to official records, is Aleksandar Mihajlovic, who unsuccessfully stood in the Kosovo parliamentary elections last year for the pro-Belgrade party Serbian List. He was formerly a director of public services with the Gracanica municipality, a Serb-enclave on the outskirts of Pristina.

Journalist Berat Buzhala, a member of parliament for Thaci’s PDK until 2014 who has links to Ismaili and Musa, was also briefly named as co-owner of the firm in 2009, before it began operating the quarry

Fidan Kalaja of the Pristina-based anti-corruption NGO Fol told BIRN it was ironic that “a so-called Bridge Watcher who barricaded a whole part of the country benefited materially from the nation’s highway construction”.

Veselinovic ‘in direct contact’ with Arena

Veselinovic admitted to working with Arena Invest via the firm Euro-kop and its owner Dragan Curcic, which manages a 100-strong fleet of vehicles, to provide construction material for the ‘Patriotic Highway’ during a recent trial at the Organised Crime Court in Belgrade.

He had been facing charges of aiding and inciting the abuse of office after allegedly receiving 31 stolen trucks in Kosovo from Euro-kop against the will of the owner – Hypo Alpe Adria Leasing Belgrade – leaving the Austrian bank 2.2m euros out of pocket.

During the trial, he told the court he had received the trucks from Curcic to settle a debt but insisted he had not known they had been unlawfully taken from Hypo.

While admitting to using the Hypo trucks for building barricades and “alternative routes”, illegal roads built to avoid the EULEX (the EU’s rule-of-law mission in Kosovo) and Kosovo Police crackdown on smuggling, he argued the Hypo trucks were not used to transport material to Bechtel or in other construction jobs.

In February 2015, Euro-kop’s owner Curcic was found guilty of abuse of office at the same trial and given a two-year sentence while Veselinovic was cleared, although BIRN understands that the prosecution intends to appeal the verdict.

Arena Invest quarry
Photo by: BIRN

Euro-kop is also named in another trial against Veselinovic, in which he also faces charges of aiding and inciting the abuse of office at a court in Pirot, Serbia. It is alleged he and three co-accused provided illegally quarried gravel worth around 500,000 euros, transported by Euro-kop and other firms, to the Austrian construction giant Alpine Bau for the construction of a highway in southern Serbia.

Veselinovic and the three other defendants deny the charges.

Veselinovic told the Belgrade court that he was in direct contact with “Aca from the quarry”, referring to Arena Invest owner Aleksandar Mihajlovic, and Euro-kop owner Curcic to organise trucks for the transportation of stones to Bechtel-Enka.

He told the court: “I’m calling Dragan [Curcic, official owner of Eurokop] saying “how many trucks can you give me?”

“We started working, so we once had five and once seven trucks. For twentyish days, a month, we were working and then the barricades started and all the troubles.”

Veselinovic declined to answer questions related to the Arena Invest deal.

Veselinovic’s powerful backers

The Veselinovic brothers, Zvonko and Zarko, are routinely mentioned in public as not only being close to the current and previous Serbian governments, but as also being capable of ordering the erection and removal of barricades and inciting unrest in northern Kosovo.However, after the violence of July 2011 in Jarinje, a border crossing between Serbia and northern Kosovo, the international community increased the pressure on the Serbian government to arrest Zvonko. As a result, the Serbian government, then led by the Democratic Party, distanced itself from him.Veselinovic admitted to the Organised Crime Court in Belgrade that the Euro-kop trucks – including those ruled to have been stolen from Hypo – were used to build the barricades and “alternative routes”, illegal roads built in 2011 as EULEX and Kosovo Police attempted to crackdown on smuggling.“Those ten Hypo trucks were in bad condition so we used them for barricades,” he told the court.In February 2015, Euro-kops owner Dragan Curcic was found guilty of abuse of office in relation to the theft of the Hypo trucks at the same trial and sentenced to a two-year jail term. Veselinovic was cleared of all charges, although the prosecution intends to appeal.

He also told the court that he had erected the barricades in close cooperation with the previous government, led by the Democratic Party, something the party denies.

“Everything started when ROSU [Kosovo Special Police] came to [the] north of Kosovo,” he told the court, referring to an attempt by Kosovo Police in July 2011 to take control of the northern border crossings, triggering the unrest.

“I was with my family in Budva. I got a call from a friend from the ‘city defence’, so I left my wife and kids and came back to [the] north of Kosovo.

“With our bodies we defend the north of Kosovo,” he told the court. “We came to the conclusion that we had to build barricades, so we sat in Rudare [northern Kosovo] all together and make plans where to build barricades and where to put people.

“All my trucks, I made them available for the defence of north of Kosovo. And at that time, I was short of trucks for my business.”

Aleksandar Vucic, then vice president of the governing SNS party and now Serbian prime minister, publicly supported Veselinovic by stating in October 2011 that if he was arrested, Borislav Stefanovic, chief negotiator in the Pristina-Belgrade talks, and Goran Bogdanovic, then minister for Kosovo, should also face the courts.

According to Vucic, criminalising Veselinovic amounted to criminalising all Serbs from Kosovo.

Zvonko, 34, and his brother Zarko, 30, are currently under investigation by the EU’s rule-of-law mission in Kosovo EULEX, for crimes allegedly committed during the 2011 uprising.

A warrant has been issued for their arrest on suspicion of murder, endangering the lives of international peacekeepers and smuggling but the duo continue to move freely between Kosovo and Serbia. They deny the charges.

Despite the charges against the Veselinovic family, which include court cases in Kosovo and Serbia, their businesses continues to thrive thanks to patronage from Belgrade, including a share of a 75m dollar Serbian construction contract quietly handed out by a state-owned company.

Patriotism or profit?

Arena Invest do not dispute having done business with Veselinovic, but claim that they were not responsible for Euro-kop’s “sub-contractors”.

Mihajlovic told BIRN that Euro-kop were contracted by Arena Invest to transport all the material to Bechtel-Enka’s asphalt base in Prizren, although he said he dealt with the actual owner Curcic, in contradiction to Veselinovic’s statements in court.

“We had signed a deal with their owner [Curcic] about using their trucks for supplying Bechtel with asphalt for that highway,” he said, adding that the fuel used for the trucks came from Veselinovic.

Leaked documents from the Bechtel laboratory reveal that Arena Invest’s material was being delivered between, at a minimum, the four month period between April and July 2011.

A report published by Croatian firm Ramtech, employed by Bechtel-Enka to perform quality control tests on construction material, shows that Arena Invest was due to provide Bechtel with 80,000 tonnes of construction material as the sole supplier of the top layer of asphalt for half of the 77km highway……………………….

http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/notorious-ex-bridge-watcher-helped-build-kosovo-s-patriotic-highway

Russia: Five Years Since Anna Politkovskaya’s Murder

Exactly five years after Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya was murdered in her apartment building, a convicted criminal has been indicted as her slayer.
According to prosecutors, the man is Lom-Ali Gaitukayev, a native of Chechnya currently serving a term in jail for an unrelated murder case.
According to the Guardian, the court will also announce new charges against the suspected hitman, Rustam Makhmudov, and several others involved in the killing as well.

Analysts have often noted that Politkovskaya was assassinated on then-president Vladimir Putin’s birthday.  While human rights groups welcome the announcement that someone will be held responsible for the journalist’s death, revelers across Russia have been been celebrating their next president’s birthday.

Since Putin became president in 2000, 19 journalists have been slain in Russia, and until today, no one has been legally punished for any of the crimes.  Since 1992, a total of 76 journalists have been killed in Russia, according to the country’s Committee to Protect Journalists.

Maybe they should arrest the people who ordered the murders on Politkovskaya’s birthday. But in likelihood they will never be brought to justice.

 

Instability Continues in Kosovo

Kosovo has made its share of global headlines this week.  The trial of seven accused of organ trafficking began Tuesday in the capital city of Pristina.  A protected witness from Belarus testified Wednesday about his journey to Kosovo to surgically remove his kidney, and said he was not paid the amount he was promised, €15,000.

Meanwhile, violence along the country’s border with Serbia and the northern city of Mitrovica has been linked to organized crime operatives.  Serbian daily newspapers Blic and Press have been linking the unrest to Zvonko Veselinovic, who Press refers to as a “a dubious Serb businessman from Kosovska Mitrovica whose name has been mentioned by media as the organizer of the recent conflict with KFOR [the UN peacekeeping troops] at the Jarinje border crossing.”  Press writes that he is “purportedly the leader of the largest criminal group in northern Kosovo.”

According to Serbian news outlet B92, “Some of the media in Belgrade have stated that Veselinović is the most important figure in northern Kosovo when it comes to petrol and cigarettes smuggling.” ……………………

https://www.occrp.org/en/blog/1169-occrp-weekly-news-round-up

https://www.occrp.org/…/1516-kosovo-eulex-raid-rankles-authorities
May 22, 2012 At 5:00 am local time two EULEX helicopters and several armored SUVs conducted a raid on the family home of Zvonko Veselinovic in the Serb …
https://www.occrp.org/en/blog/1169-occrp-weekly-news-round-up
Oct 7, 2011 Serbian daily newspapers Blic and Press have been linking the unrest to Zvonko Veselinovic, who Press refers to as a “a dubious Serb …