Está en la página 1de 23

Koha Digest # 157

Date: 13 August 1997




The reception, in honor of Richard Holbrooke, the architect of the Dayton Agreement and his
successor Gelpard, at the American Chargé's residence was postponed hour by hour.

The reason was simple - the American delegation was convincing the leadership of B&H on
the need to adopt joint legal acts, which include citizenship, currency, etc., until three o'clock
in the morning...

When the time to go to the cocktail finally came, the word "expectation" turned into
something very important not only for the Kosovars that were invited to the reception, but
Kosovars in general. The claims of Albanians that an important American intervention was
necessary for the solution of Kosova's problem, and that this intervention has to be
determining and in accordance with the right to self-determination, and that it should take the
form of an international conference, were responded to by the statement that American
postures are well known, and you know how we feel America when it comes to this. To the
questions on what this feeling is like, the diplomatic vocabulary revealed the key messages
that the question of Kosova is at the focus of the American interest in the region, that this
situation is closely followed and that they were looking at the forthcoming visit of Dr.
Rugova to Washington with expectation.

Anything new?

No, these words have been repeated several times and, what is more important, have always,
really, reflected the posture of the American administration.

Expectation? Yes. The cocktail really proved why. The reception was attended by the leaders
of the Serbian opposition, the ones that are failing to reform the society controlled by
Milosevic; the representatives of the Montenegrin opposition, who themselves are facing
difficulties in the problematic republic inside the "FRY"; the representatives of the media
carrying the burden of the efforts to try and avoid different traps that Milosevic uses to
control the public opinion.

As one of the diplomats that has been following us in Kosova and the opposition in Serbia in
the past ten years explained to me, the biggest question in American politics regarding

The weekly Koha (The Times) was published in Prishtina (Kosovo) between 1994 and 1997. Edited by Veton
Surroi, a young Kosovar journalist and one of the pioneers of democratisation in former Yugoslavia, Koha
soon became a symbol of quality among the region's media. In 1997 it started to be published daily under the
name of Koha Ditorë. W ith the kind permission of Mr. Surroi, Koha digests were originally posted on
Kosova is whether the moment for this issue to be opened and accepted by President
Milosevic, now leader of "FRY", has arrived? Or, as a high military officer that has met often
with him explained - whether Milosevic's pelt has changed, once he has become lodger of the
"White Palace".

And Holbrooke? What's his role? To push the Dayton Process, and not get involved on a
long-term basis in the solution of other issues of the former Yugoslavia.



by ARBANA ISLAMI / Prishtinë

Most of the political subjects agreed with an evaluation that came straight
after the 29 June elections in Albania: ‘Without Kosova there is no strong
Albania’. The political subjects’ discussions increased even more after the
appointment of the new socialist-led government in Albania. The biggest party
in Kosova, the LDK, by noting some difficulties still present in Albania,
stated that ‘anyway, the elections were an important moment for all political
forces there, aiming at ending the serious crisis and heading towards
prosperity’. In this regard, the vice-chairman of the LDK, Fehmi Agani, after
the investiture of the Nano cabinet, stated that ‘it seems that not even the
first difficulty in the plane of plural democracy has been surpassed’. Anyhow,
Agani added that ‘the elections results in Albania, and the constitution of
the new government, deserve every respect’.

In this regard, the Social-Democratic Party’s chairman, Luljeta Pula-Beqiri,
disappointed with Albania’s ‘fate’, evaluates that the return, as she calls
it, of ‘the Labor Party of Albania to power, is a knife behind the back for
Kosova’. She noted that ‘the foreign diplomats' participation in the
constituting parliamentary seance, was cynical with a known tendency’. Pula-
Beqiri considers the new parliament as one of Kalashnykovs and an
embarrassment for the whole Albanian nation. According to Pula-Beqiri,
‘without a strong Albania it will be hard to find a right solution for

A similar angry reaction was of the chairman of the PPK, Adem Demaçi, who
thinks that ‘the Nanoist garniture’, as he calls it, ‘doesn’t deserve
congratulations’. Demaçi’ s statement came at the same time when one of his
vice-chairmen, Jonuz Salihaj, while extending the congratulations on behalf
of the PPK, stated that the formation of the new government is ‘a necessary
step for the improvement of the situation following the anarchy caused by the
collapse of pyramidal schemes’. In the meantime, the other vice-chairman of
this party, Bajram Kosumi, by trying to explain the differences between
opinions within the PPK, actually between the chairman of this party (who was
on holidays while his party was ‘congratulating’ Nano) and the other members
of it's presidency, said that ‘it was normal to support the formation of the

new government in Albania’.

Same as he did with the National Reconciliation Government, prime-minister Bukoshi,
straight after the fromation of the new government in Albania, paid a visit to Tirana and, in
supportive sign, embraced his counterpart in Albania, Fatos Nano. Bukoshi, has in this case
acted as his ‘employer’ in Prishtinë, Ibrahim Rugova who, according to the analysts, has
taken a concrete and right ‘political and diplomatic’ steps.

However, it seems that not only Albania was the ‘arena’ of contradictions
within the Albanians in Kosova. If the criticism addressed to the new Albanian
government is based on the aspect of it’s creation (violence), it seems that
in Kosova the criticism is getting to be even stronger, for the fact that
Kosova’s Government in exile ‘has sanctioned’ the movement here and vice-
versa, the movement here has started questioning the work of it’s government.
It has been evaluated that the culmination of the so called ‘conflict’ between
Rugova and Bukoshi is based on the fact that the LDK stopped being financed
by the Government in exile. As a consequence of this ‘phenomenon’, the LDK
employees and the Kosovar journalists of the Albanian satellite program,
haven't received any wages in the past two months. Even after Bukoshi’s
promise that he would send the money to Prishtinë, it seems that ‘the money
has yet not found the right address’. On top of everything, the Kosova
Information Center (KIC), has no phones since two months now, because the
phone bill (80,000 dinars) has not been paid yet.

It has been some time since Bujar Bukoshi criticized the political movement
led by Rugova, by stating that ‘it faces the biggest crisis ever’. Bukoshi
even evaluated that the passive resistance and Albanians’ passive response to
Serbian terror, cannot bring an improvement of the situation for Albanians in
Kosova. This was precisely the ‘critical moment’, when the stop to financing
started as a boycott.

On the other hand, in a press conference, president Rugova, ‘slightly
frustrated’ with the last events in the political scene in Kosova, ‘promised’
that he would do some changes in the government. In this regard, based to
sources close to the LDK, a meeting within LDK was set with two main topics
of discussion ‘ free elections and changes in government. As we learned, even
though the meeting started, it never ended, and the reasons are not known yet
to the public opinion. At the end of the week, during which the LDK meeting
was postponed several times, president Rugova ‘confirmed’ for the second time
during a press conference, that he was doing consultations in regard to the
changes in the government. But, the dilemma that arose following his statement
was whether he had the legal competency to change his Prime-Minister. This
dilemma came and got even stronger when some evaluations that all
‘institutions’, including the president, had lost their legitimacy, came on
the surface. Tadej Rodiqi, vice-chairman of the Albanian Christian-Democratic
Party declared that ‘the changes in government are part of Rugova’s
competencies’. As he says, his evaluation is based on ‘the 1991 Constitution
and it's amendments, which authorize the president to do so’. But, Afrim
Morina, UNIKOMB’s vice-chairman, evaluated Rugova's announcements on the
changes within the government ‘as a revelation that there won’t be any free

elections’, because according to Morina, ‘otherwise he wouldn’t take such a
step", which according to Morina, "is out of his competencies’.

Similar to some people within LDK, PPK's vice-chairman, Bajram Kosumi, thinks
that ‘it's not the first time president Rugova announces changes within
government, and this promise has never been kept’. But, according to Kosumi,
‘the competency to discharge Bukoshi belongs to the Coordinating Body of the
Political Parties of Kosova, the institution that appointed him and his

The critical relations between the Presidency and the Government of the
Republic of Kosova, are explained by some local analysts as a consequence of
the fact that ‘the government works in exile, and as such it can’t have a
close relationship with the presidency’. Thus, ‘obliged’ to reply to some of
the criticism, Bukoshi, by excusing his government’s work in exile, has
recently stated that ‘he prefers his government to work and act in exile,
rather than having it be a caricature of a government that could work only
with Belgrade's permission’.

Anyhow, the Prime-Minister’s statement on latest ‘attitude’ of the government
towards the Presidency and the LDK, which will include many other different
issues that took place recently, is expected to come, as he promised, ‘very
soon’ (?).



by ARTAN PUTO / Tirana

The new Albanian parliament, dominated by the socialists, seems to be turning
towards different important problems, such as are the constitutional changes
and later on, the designing of a new constitution. The first act that will be
revised by the majority Socialist vote, will be the law on the president's
competencies. Albania is a parliamentary republic. This means that it has a
president appointed/elected by the parliament, and he hasn't large
competencies. But, the experience of these last few years proved the opposite.
Ex-president Sali Berisha acted as if he was chosen straight by the people,
as a person that had absolute power. The ex-president tried to legitimize his
right to maintain his governing privileges through the version of the
constitution that was presented in the Referendum on the Constitution in
November 1994. That version foresaw very broad competencies of the President.
Wanting to avoid the past experience, Socialists made it clear that they
prefer the president to be a symbol of all Albanians. In other words, a
"honorific" figure. Besides wanting to give the impression that the president
should be above all parties, the new president of Albania, Rexhep Mejdani,
resigned from all possible party functions. This move, other than the above
mentioned reasons, was made to indisputably prove inside and outside the

country, that the new president, differing from the old one, will strive to
follow the example of western democracies. After appointing the new president,
the socialists and their allies now have the task of changing his
competencies. Socialist Party's press comments this step as respect for the
constitutional provisions and the correction of what was distorted under
Berisha's rule. In the meantime, opposition press evaluates this as an attempt
to give their chairman, the current prime-minister, more power. Democrats are
against a powerful prime minister and a weak president, what made them compare
Nano with Mussolini and show Mejdani as a "puppet that enacts what the
chairman of his ex-party orders." The socialists now have to design the
constitution, since without it, state activities are managed according to
constitutional laws approved by the first multi-party parliament in April
1991. Even though the Democratic Party, during it's five years rule, promised
to achieve this goal, it wasn't able to elaborate a constitution acceptable
to all sides. It's opponents say that the democrats as well as Sali Berisha,
weren't interested in such a law structure, for it would have suspended their
attempts to be above the law. It can't be overseen that the version of the
constitution never went through serious process of discussions, and thus it
never acquired a broad consensus. The constitution, more than the approval
from the parliament that can be dominated by only one party, needs
international consensus. The socialists see the constitutional problem, not
only as one of great importance and that needs immediate action, but as a
spring of political capital. Beside the fact that they pledge for a
constitution that would represent everyone's interests, they don't conceal
their aim to approve it in a parliament dominated by them. Immediately after
the controversial elections, the Republican Party, came up with the idea of
forming a constitutional assembly that would carry the burden of designing a
new constitution for Albania. There are speculations that approving the
constitution by Referendum would be more democratic and suitable. Others
consider it best for the constitution to be passed in the parliament and then
be approved by referendum. Some others, yet, think the only right way for the
constitution to be approved is by the National Assembly (Parliament). So there
is a split of opinions. There is no doubt that the referendum, in this case,
would be the most democratic way for the constitution to be approved, but one
has to keep in mind the conditions that Albania offers, and try to avoid it
being turned to a political propaganda. This doubt increases with the hot
political climate in Albania. On the other hand, the problem of the
constitutional assembly would take much time and could dismiss the actual
parliament reached at with much difficulty by the international community. One
of the first steps that would reveal the concept of the socialist government,
is the way they established the new public administration, declaring, "a new
policy or a new co-governing philosophy". Through these ideas, they seek to
give an impression that they are new people, open for cooperation and ready
to forget the past, in an attempt to create a brighter future. Consequently,
there is a great possibility of a new public administration to be
established, having the old Democrats' garniture ousted, and thus be
considered by the opposition as a simple demagogy. Albania has always offered
the type of public administration in which the parties' interests collide.
Historically, the public administration was never seen as a natural part of
the state, but more as a unit for defending the party in power. The long life

of Enver Hoxha's political administration, as well as Berisha's militant
administration, have nearly created a new culture for every Albanian employee.
In other words, a new layer of technical employees and irreplaceable experts
unaffected by political changes was never created. Every party that came to
power changed the administration's structure, the members of which it
considered to be agents to the former government. Now the socialists promise
to change the administration only according to and based on merits. But what
are the parameters of these merits, nobody knows. The ruling party now has to
pass some serious tests; on one hand it has to reconstruct the administration,
that during these past five years has been accused of being corrupt and on the
other hand, it has to face the pressures on the preservation of the political
traditions of Albania. Anyway, "the winners" show signs that they haven't
rehabilitated completely from the past events and that they are sometimes
victims of their lack of democratic culture. An example would be what's
practiced in parliament, especially in the case of the Radio-Television Board
a topic which, instead of being discussed by appropriate commissions, was sent
straight to the parliament for approval. The international community is now
more sensitive towards Albania's situation than in the past. It will now
closely observe every step of Albania's new government. On the other hand, it
made it clear that it would offer help only if the political forces cooperate
and preserve the national reconciliation.

The largest opposition party has left the parliament, with the excuse that it
has accepted it as a political solution and not as a regular electoral
outcome. The opposition press has labeled it a "parliament of Kalashnykovs and
gangs". The democrats consider the MPs' mandates not to be valid, since they
were elected in lack of alternative programs and candidatures. Even the new
socialist prime-minister, Fatos Nano, is object of much criticism and is
regarded by PD's MPs as an ordinary convict that doesn't have the moral right
to hold such a post. The structure and program of the new government is also
subject to other numerous attacks. Nano's government is labeled a "Vorio-
Epirist" ("Northern-Greek") government that is dominated by the southerners.
According to the declarations of the Democratic Party, the southerners and
northerners are as if divided in two ethnic groups. They try to rid the same
parallel in the aspect of religious belief. The press writes more and more
each day about the so-called "element of Catholic discrimination", in the
context that there is no place for this element in the ruling structures. When
it comes to the Socialist Party's program, the Democratic Party considers it
similar to the reports of the Political Bureau's time. The democrats' attacks
are also directed against the so-called administration's "reconstruction". The
Democratic Party declared that it would inform all international bodies and
called all employees to keep their working posts. It opened an office within
it's headquarters for that reason, so it could offer juridical assistance to
the dismissed employees. With these steps, the opposition is clearly trying
to present itself as ready to sympathize with the ones that are dissatisfied
with the first reforms of the socialists team. Therefore, DP's Secretary-
General, Genc Pollo, suggested that representatives of all parties be gathered
around a round table where they could openly discuss the conditions set by the
Conference in Rome, as well as the ways to accomplish them. The purpose of
such a round table seems to be much deeper than simply discussing the problems

highlighted by the conference in Rome. As it is known, this conference was
held on 31 July and through it, Nano's new government was set several
conditions. When these conditions are fulfilled, the European Community will
offer financial help, the sum of which is yet to be determined in the donors
meeting to be held in October. Some of the conditions are: maintaining order,
halting the economic fall, and above all, clearing the pyramidal schemes. The
DP tried to highlight the importance of the Rome Conference by proposing the
round table. In the round table, the DP would seek to decrease the
parliament's role, in which it makes the minority. In the case of SP's refusal
to take part in such a meeting, DP would have new grounds for accusing the
Socialist Party, above all for not collaborating with the opposition on the
country's problems. But, considering the fact that all parties, even the
Socialist Party, accepted to take part in the meeting, the high tensions have
elapsed and the path to eliminate further division between the existing
parties of Albania has opened.


NERITAN CEKA, Minister of Interior of Albania


Interviewed by MANJOLA T’RSHANA / Tirana

KOHA: What do you intend to concretely do for restoring order in Albania?

CEKA: The work on this matter has started a week ago. We have started it by
reopening major roads; the main road in the north and northeast, the Burrel
road, which was blocked many times, is now open, the Korçë road has become
safer and in these last two or three days we are working in opening the roads
that connect with the Kakavija border checkpoint, which is needed not only for
free movement of people, but also for securing necessary income for the state.

KOHA: Is the paralyzation of trafficking in Albania a problem on your
spotlight or is it left to be dealt with for some other time?

CEKA: Smuggling is a problem of the Albanian police and every day we try to
eliminate it within our possibilities. It is a problem that requires an
immediate solution and not to be left for some other time.

KOHA: Are the security forces the same or have they increased in numbers?

CEKA: Security forces were not the problem - the number of policemen was
normal comparing to the number of people, 1 to 200. The main problem of the
police was the absence of support of the local and central authorities.

Following the political solution, with the new Nano government in power,
police has felt that it has political backup and it became more active. The

reorganization started in Vlorë, a directorate has been created, it is divided
in commissariats and thanks to this strategy, now roads are controlled by
police forces that are assisted by special units.

KOHA: In the past days, which has been the main problem of your ministry?

CEKA: Restoration of police activities, in order to make it totally function.
The second was the cooperation with local authorities, that, in quite some
parts of the country, do not exist, since they are controlled by the
Democratic Party officials that still can't adjust to the new philosophy of
coexistence. The third, the most acute one, remains the analysis of the
judicial system and it's deep corruption. A week ago, we caught a gang while
it was transporting some 750.000 German Marks and yesterday, the court freed
the gang as not guilty.

KOHA: In order to encourage and stimulate the policemen, have you thought of
any material reward for them?

CEKA: This stimulation exists. Even though the wage of a policeman is low,
some US$ 80 per month, the Government of National Reconciliation decided to
compensate the risk and after hours work. In these cases, the wage of a
policeman reaches US$ 200-250. But today's police doesn't request only
guarantees, it requests mostly legal protection, laws for special situations
and especially protection in case of accidents and death. These constitute
actions and corrections of the law, which we will present very soon to the
government and the parliament.

KOHA: Which will be the first measures undertaken for the demilitarization of
the population?

CEKA: This is a conditioned process, in the first place by those
who created it. Now, when we are restoring order, there is no
place to claim that the many people who took guns are
protecting their life or their property from criminal gangs and
from a government that is not responsible. Bit by bit, this
argument is vanishing. Of course there are no more political
grounds for those segments of the Democratic Party that got
arms from commissariats by Berisha's orders in March. So, we
can immediately start disarming people, but only after we take
the necessary measures to identify those who took weapons
and to create safe places for their deposition. Anyway, during
these ten days, hundreds of guns were collected by police
during road check-ups.

KOHA: Will the collected weapons be registered or will they be
treated by the existing law of possession of weapon without

CEKA: I am against registering guns. I think we should act by
the existing law by which the illegal possession of weapons is

forbidden. If this law is respected correctly then there's no
need for any additional law. Of course, there will be people who
will hide guns. In Albania there are people who have hidden
guns from the time of World War One, but I am not talking
about them. I think people will hand-in guns since there won't
be need for having them, and in cases of noticing people who
are carrying guns without a license, the law will be applied

KOHA: How large will be the Italian and Greek forces and what
will be their role in the operations of the Albanian police?

CEKA: The aid named "ALBA 2" that will come from abroad,
won't have any implication in the fight against crime. It is only
a force that will secure ports and vital points, and fighting
crime is something that rests only in the hands of the Albanian
police. Of course we will cooperate with the Italian and Greek
police as well as with the police of other countries in cases
when crime has become an international problem. And the
number of forces included has not been decided yet and it is
a matter to be decided by the respective governments in
cooperation with our government.

KOHA: It is said that special army forces will help Albanian

CEKA: The possibility of joint operations is not considered yet.
But the law makes it possible. If this becomes reality, then it
will be a fight against trafficking. For this to happen, a joint
meeting of the Defence Ministry, Finance Ministry and Interior
Ministry is needed.

KOHA: What is being done on apprehending identified gangs
like those in Vlorë?

CEKA: We have reactivated the police and a special force is
operating in Vlorë in order to strike on those gangs. I believe
that by the end of the month, actions against them will start,
since some time for getting information on committed crimes is
needed. On the other hand, this operation needs to be
organized in the way that they are caught armed.

KOHA: You said that a deep analysis of the Albanian judicial
system is necessary for restoring order. What do you mean by
changes in this system?

CEKA: The system should be cleansed from thieves. The organs
should have a certain status, since although the prosecutor's
office is independent, it operates for it's interests and not for
the interests of the law. Very often this institution, by

allegedly respecting the freedom and the rights of an
individual, opens the path to crime.


MIHAJLO MIHAJLOV, Yugoslav dissident, professor of ‘George Washington’ University
and a human rights activist


Interviewed by LINDITA IMAMI / Washington

KOHA: You have just returned from a trip to Yugoslavia and the
region. How do you evaluate the situation and what do you think
are the biggest obstacles for peace in this region?

MIHAJLOV: I think that the current situation is only a break and
not an end of this chapter of the events in Balkan. The situation
remains very dangerous. International troops in Bosnia are
safeguarding only a truce, because peace is not achieved yet. The
situation in Kosova, Macedonia, Serbia, in Sandzak and the whole
Yugoslavia is very tense. Not only that it is an unstable
situation, but it is also a very dangerous one. Last year’s
demonstrations in Serbia, caused a minor loss for Milosevic, but
the absence of a clear guidance of the opposition, caused the
fall of the coalitions of the opposition, and now the situation
is worse than it was before. Now Milosevic has no intention to
leave power and I doubt that he will ever do that. He managed to
go ahead, and become President of Yugoslavia. The economic
situation in Serbia is also very bad, and if a revolt of the
citizens starts there, I doubt that this time those would be
peaceful demonstrations. They can be very bloody, and the
violence can be transferred into the hands of the citizens. Thus,
something very similar to what happened in Albania can happen in
the whole Yugoslavia, and especially in Serbia. A collapse like
this can bring radicals like Seselj to power. It is very
difficult to find something optimistic in the current situation.
The opposition is divided, the democratic forces too. Even during
the last year’s demonstrations, there were divisions between
nationalistic and democratic forces. They fought Milosevic for
different reasons, some fought him because he was defeated in
war, and the others fought him because he started the war. There
are also high tensions in Bosnia and in Republika Srpska; 25 war
criminals fled Bosnia and came to Belgrade; Holbrooke is in the
region to convince Milosevic, but I doubt he will succeed. This
way, the sanctions can hold Serbia back. So, nothing has ended
and these two years can prove to be only a short truce, and not
a real peace.

- 10 -
KOHA: You are not optimistic at all about the new American
mission in Bosnia, the arrival of the American representatives,
also counting Holbrooke, who came to speed up the realization of
the Dayton Agreement.

MIHAJLOV: Who knows? Unfortunately, the American administration
was very undecided. Albright insisted that the war criminals are
captured, but the efforts were not successful because they
started by arresting small criminals, and not the most important
ones. From a practical point of view, if Karadzic and Mladic were
detained, then the situation in Republika Srpska would change
totally. It is very strange that in Bosnia, the international
community and the USA are not dealing with the real problem, but
only with small problems that are not important. Therefore, it
is very hard to predict what will Holbrooke's mission bring. It
seems that it depends on how much are the highest levels engaged,
i.e., President Clinton, because without his support, Holbrooke
will be only a small negotiator.

KOHA: What commitment would the American administration have to
make, in order to solve this problem once and for all, because
despite all the efforts so far, we have only a status quo?

MIHAJLOV: Yes, a status quo, and no hope for a solution to be found.
The Dayton Agreement is ‘ambivalent’, it leaves room for the division
of Bosnia, and it also leaves room for a united Bosnia. But, every
division of Bosnia, and the unification of Republika Srpska with
Yugoslavia would cause a new war, because in today’s Yugoslavia
(Serbia and Montenegro), every third citizen is neither Serbian nor
Montenegrin, but there are many Albanians, Hungarians, and others.
Republika Srpska in Bosnia, is an ethnically cleansed territory, and if
somebody wants to travel from Belgrade to Sarajevo, the person will
have troubles during the travel if he/she is not a Serb. Therefore, the
unification of Republika Srpska with Yugoslavia would incite new
revolts, because one third of the Yugoslav population is neither
Serbian nor Montenegrin.

KOHA: How do you evaluate the situation in Montenegro? Which side is
more supported by the people, the pro-Milosevic or the anti-Milosevic

MIHAJLOV: I was eight days in Kotor, in a seminar about inter-ethnic
relations. Talking with people and reading newspapers, I got the
impression that the people are supporting Djukanovic, the political
wing that is against Milosevic. Still, in my opinion, this is not that
important, because we must know the situation inside. Very often it
seemed like Milosevic was in danger, but afterwards he would recover.
This was the case with Panic, Cosic, that once were against him, as
Djukanovic is actually, but at the end, it could happen that Milosevic
will win again, especially when we are talking about the Montenegrin

- 11 -
opposition. Both leaders of Montenegro, Bulatovic and Djukanovic are
allies of Milosevic. Whoever of these two wins, he will again cooperate
with Milosevic. There can be a confrontation between Bulatovic and
Djukanovic, but not also between the Serb and Montenegrin sides.

KOHA: Do Montenegrins feel alienated by the Serbs or still feel part of
former Yugoslavia?

MIHAJLOV: Only the "Yugo-nostalgic" have this spirit, but this is not
the one that dominates. There is more domination of the feeling for
Serb and Montenegrin national being. I don’t think that there will be
a real confrontation between Serbia and Montenegro. In Belgrade, you
have people who complain that Montenegrins are ruling Serbia, this
because Milosevic is from Montenegro, as well as Karadzic. There is a
small opposition party in Montenegro made of Montenegrin
nationalists, but I doubt that they will ever come to power.

KOHA: Let’s go back to Kosova. Do you think that the problem of
Kosova is treated in the right way and what do you think would be the
best solution for Kosova?

MIHAJLOV: Of course it is not treated right, but in an idiotic way, just
as everything else treated by Milosevic. Milosevic started his journey
to power in Kosova, and gained power in Serbia, provoking Serbian
nationalism with the Kosova issue, in 1987. Of course, Kosova is a big
problem. New generations that are not attending regular schooling
don’t speak Serbian. I was in Prishtina last year, and the situation
there is unbearable, because the international community does not
want to change the borders. Perhaps this is good for one reason,
because if the change of the borders is allowed, then almost all the
borders in Europe would have to be changed. For example, the border
between Italy and Austria, because a number of Austrians live in Italy.
This is a never-ending process, especially when we talk about Serbia,
where a large number of Albanians and Hungarians live. So far, the
borders were never changed. You can say that five republics were
created from the former Yugoslavia, but the international community
still insists that the borders are not to be changed. This principle, has
so far been very important. On the other hand, the Serbian forces that
are very strong would suppress any kind of armed local revolt. This
would be a tragedy for Albanians. The idea of Demaçi, on a third unit
or a third republic seems to be the most realistic alternative.
Unfortunately, the Serbian opposition, that continues to be
nationalistic, does not give guarantees for Albanians in Kosova. Still,
there is a possibility that a new opposition is created that would have
different opinions on Kosova Albanians, and that would lead the forces
of the opposition. I think that because of the persistence of the
international community on the non-alteration of the borders, the
policy of President Rugova, is not a productive one now.

There are different ways to fight for full independence, for example

- 12 -
like the Irish in Northern Ireland that fight within the British
Parliament. Adams is at the same time member of the British Parliament
but he also fights for separation of Ireland from Britain. This is more
effective from the political point of view, and it would be much harder
for any Serbian nationalist if Albanians would participate in the
Parliament of Serbia. For example, 25 Albanian MPs would be decisive
in choosing the government. Thus, the situation would change because
these Albanian MPs would be united and would form the strongest
block in the Serbian Parliament. Not to mention the publicity, every
day they would be able to fight for their cause through the media.
From the pragmatic and practical point of view, the smartest way to
fight for independence, would be to say that now we are changing
only the methods and not the goals, and we will continue the fight
outside Kosova and inside the Serbian parliament. This would give
Albanians a better position in the international scene.

KOHA: But Albanians have reasonable arguments against this!

MIHAJLOV: Yes, the recognition of the Serbian rule. But the
recognition of the Serbian Parliament is only symbolic, because
Rugova knows very well that Albanians travel with Yugoslav
passports, drive cars with Yugoslav registration, pay Yugoslav taxes,
use Yugoslav money. By not recognizing the Serbian Government, you
are taking all the negative sides of this government, and not taking a
single good side of it. In my opinion, the politics of the Irish in
Britain, is more clever. It is true that 25 Albanian MPs in the Serbian
Parliament would be over-voted, but they would have the power to
decide which party would be in power. This is a great power, and they
would also benefit from delivering speeches in the parliament, daily
statements of the work of the parliament. They would have the
opportunity to speak and to be heard in the public opinion on a daily
basis. I think that this is a more sophisticated way, than ignoring the
government. I understand that for political reasons it is said that they
do not recognize this government, but why then do they use
passports of this government?

KOHA: In order to achieve this, there must be reciprocal trust between
the sides. How can we have this trust, when the Serbs took the
autonomy that Albanians had, very quickly?

MIHAJLOV: Now we have a different situation in Yugoslavia, and there
are big pressures. Now, it is not easy to do this. At that time Kosova
was almost independent, but was connected with the other parts of
Yugoslavia. It was different. Unfortunately, the opposition coalition in
Serbia was destroyed even during the protests. Demaçi went to
Belgrade three times and supported the opposition against Milosevic.
Then Draskovic, who is a Serbian nationalist, asked the protesters for
a minute of silence (for the victims in Kosova), which is a very unusual
thing. In a long period of propaganda, usually the people stay in
silence and they do not speak. This example shows that there are

- 13 -
possibilities for cooperation between Albanians and the Serbian
opposition, but leaders in Kosova must have more courage and say
that they are changing the methods and not their aims. I doubt that
Rugova can do this. But, if the situation continues to aggravate,
somebody will try to do this. I discussed this with Demaçi. I
understood that he understands this, but he is not ready to do it.

KOHA: What do you think about Albania? Do you think that the new
government offers a better hope?

MIHAJLOV: I don’t know Nano well, and the fact that he was
communist, doesn’t tell much because everybody in that country was
communist. Second, many communists became democrats, including
Berisha himself. And third, many nationalists that were never
communists are bigger enemies of democracy than any communist is.
So, I don’t know what can Nano do, and what will he do. But the
situation in Albania will change, no matter the fact who is in power.

KOHA: What do you think about Macedonia. Do you think that Albanians
are right in their demands?

MIHAJLOV: They are by all means right, and it is very surprising that
Gligorov, who is very moderate, doesn’t understand this. The ethnic
nationalism in Macedonia is growing, and Gligorov is under pressure,
but a solution can be found. Ethnic nationalism, especially the extreme
one, is the opposite of any kind of democratization. This region is very
mixed ethnically, and the solution cannot be the ethnic division.
Macedonia, Serbia, Kosova and the whole Balkan are ethnically mixed,
and the solution can be the creation of the confederacies and
federations. If you use the ethnic principle, then you will have to
divide infinitely, because there is no ethnically clean territories.
Everywhere you have majorities, you have minorities. Only the
American solution, democracy based on civil and human rights would
solve the problem.

KOHA: Are you speaking about a confederacy of the Balkans, or some
small federations?

MIHAJLOV: Right now, it is hard to speak about a confederacy of the
Balkans. Tito, Hoxha and Dimitrov could do this in 1945. But, Stalin
didn’t let this happen. In 1948, Stalin and Dimitrov wanted to do this,
but at that time Tito was against. So the communists could do this. In
democratic situations, it is much harder to create a new state. On the
other hand, if we use the ethnic principle, what would happen to one
million Hungarians in Romania, or with Albanians outside Albania that
live in Macedonia, Serbia, Kosova, Greece, Montenegro’ It is impossible
to create states on ethnic grounds, because you must build a New
World Order.

KOHA: Do you think that this part of the world will be democratized

- 14 -
one day?

MIHAJLOV: One day, definitely. Otherwise, it will be destroyed. I doubt
that anybody wants to commit suicide, because this will happen if the
situation remains to be like this. Even now we have an enormous
destruction of economy, culture and civilization. I hope that people do
not want to kill themselves. It is funny that Croatia and Serbia are
less independent now, than when they were not independent. Now
they have foreign troops in their territory, foreign governments tell
them what to do, and this is also the case in Albania. So, what meaning
has the term independent Croatia, for example?


Report of the International Commission of Jurists about the trial
against 15 Albanians in Prishtinë


The International Commission of Jurists ICJ, founded 1952, is a Non-
Governmental Organization with the aim to promote the understanding
and observance of the Rule of Law throughout the world. The
organization has consultative status at the ECOSOC, UNESCO, the
Council of Europe and the ILO. There are national sections in more
than 50 countries.

ICJ is i.a. observing trials in different countries, where there is a
reason to believe that the violation against human rights will be
committed and produces reports hereof.

This report shows observations made by two members of the Swedish
Section of ICJ, Judge Bengt Bondeson and Public Prosecutor Sara
Kallberg, at the District Court in Prishtinë, Kosova, 3-6 June 1997. The
conclusions made by the observers from this trial are that the
requirements for a fair trial in the European Convention on Human
Rights (Article 6) and in the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights (Article 14) are not fulfilled. Some of the suspects
where tried in their absence and those who were present had no
chance to prepare for the trial and did not know the language used in
the court. The observers state that the image of a purely politically
motivated staging is so apparent that all confidence in the trial is

Contacts and observations

We arrived in Prishtinë on Sunday, 1 June 1997. The following day we
visited the Court where the trial was going to begin on Tuesday.
During the visit, we met the President of the Court, Vojislav Zivic. The

- 15 -
President did not speak any English so we conversed with the help of
the interpreter. We introduced ourselves and our mission and were
initially greeted with suspicion. However, this faded away when we
produced our "Ordre de mission" for him. The President told us that
the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Belgrade
had also sent an observer to attend the trials. The atmosphere at the
meeting gradually lightened up and in the end became quite open. We
talked a little in general about crime and punishment in Sweden which
appeared to be of great interest.

The President told us that there are 19 judges working in the court in
Prishtinë, nine of whom are women. Furthermore he told us that the
chairman of the trials we were going to attend was a woman called
Sladjana Petrovic. He also said that all court proceedings were public
for which reason our presence did not constitute a problem. After a
moment the President, on his own initiative, telephoned the prosecutor
of the aforementioned case, Jovica Jovanovic and the chairman
Sladjana Petrovic. The prosecutors have their offices in the same
building as the President though he emphasized the independence of
the prosecutors. The prosecutor was not available but Sladjana
Petrovic joined us after a while. She did not say much. A third judge
at the court was also present during this conversation.

Later that day we met the lawyer representing Nait Hasani who was
one of those arrested in January. The lawyer told us, amongst other
things, the following. Hasani was arrested on 28 January and was then
unlawfully deprived of his liberty (incommunicado) until 29 February
when he was placed in front of an investigating judge. (In Yugoslavia,
a person may be deprived of his liberty, for a maximum of 72 hours
before suspicion of the commission of an offence must be brought
before an investigating judge). Between 28 January and 28 February,
there were several inquiries made as to where Hasani was held, though
without result. Hasani has himself maintained that he was kidnapped
on 28 January and was kept isolated in a security police cell until he
was brought before the investigating jude. Hasani has furthermore
stated that he was tortured during this time by, amongst other things,
electric shocks.

On Monday 2 June, we also met the lawyer Bajram Kelmendi who is one
of the best known and well established criminal lawyers in Kosova.
Kelmendi defended Avni Nura who was one of the three defendants
present at the trial we monitored. Kelmendi stated that Avni Nura and
his fellow defendant Besim Rama were arrested on 16 September 1996,
but they were not placed in front of investigating judge until 26
September 1996. During this time there was no one who knew where
the arrested men were taken. Both Nura and Rama have stated that
they were kept in custody for 16 days in police cellars and that they
were tortured by amongst other things, electric shocks. When they
were placed before the investigating judge it was without a defence
counsel. After this they have had the right to see their defence

- 16 -
counsels but, according to court decision, they were forbidden to talk
about the case. Kelmendi appealed against this decision. The appeal
was rejected.

The trial

As mentioned above, the accused were prosecuted for offenses under
Chapter 15, Sections 125 and 139 of the Federal Yugoslavian Penal
Statute which applies to crimes against the socialist state
administrated social system and the security of the Socialist Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia, that is to say terrorism. The trial was held in
Serbo-Croatian. However, two of three defendants who were present
did not speak the language. It was only in connection with their own
examination that there was interpretation to Albanian. They were
therefore not able to understand the rest of the trial.

3 June 1997 - Day 1

On the first day of the trial we arrived at the court half an hour
before the proceedings started. The area surrounding the court
building was sealed off and several uniformed policemen armed with
automatic weapons were posted around the building. We were stopped
by the police in front of the building and asked who we are. They let
us pass without any problems. Inside the court building we had to go
through a metal detector and the police searched all the bags. We were
also required to produce our identification and our names were
written down on a list. Armed policemen were also posted outside the

When we entered the courtroom, those three of the accused who were
to attend the trial stood there already. When the proceedings began
they had to sit in a row on low benches directly opposite the sets of
the prosecutors and the defence counsel. There were armed guards
standing or sitting beside all three. Seats for the public were situated
on both sides of a central aisle. Relatives of the accused were ushered
to one side. Observers and journalists to the other. Even though the
trial was public, the court allowed only one relative for each accused
to be present during the trial. The defence counsel - nine in number -
did not arrive until relatives had become seated. After this came the
prosecutor and then the members of the court. The bench consisted of
three legally qualified judges and two lay judges. The court chairman
was, as mentioned previously, a woman. The other members were men.
The proceedings themselves began by the chairman going through
biographical data with those accused that were present. Then the
chairman read out the names of the twelve accused that were not
present and whether they had any previous criminal records. The
prosecutor than read out the charges - twelve pages long. The
charges, which consisted of six counts, did not only consist of
statements of the criminal act and a statement of the facts. After the
charges were read the accused were asked if they understood.

- 17 -
One defence counsel asked the court why all the relatives of the
accused were not allowed to come in and hear the trial. The chairman
replied that the court would make its position clear during a recess.
However, the court never mentioned the matter again.

Interrogation of Besim Rama

The examination of the defendants then commenced.
Besim Rama was the first to be examined. During the preliminary
investigation, Rama had confessed to the crimes he had been accused
of. Rama now told the court that he had been beaten and in other ways
mistreated by the police the whole time since his arrest and that was
why he had confessed to the crimes. Rama now stated that he was
guilty of only one of the counts. Rama then described the
circumstances surrounding this count. After a while, the examination
was interrupted and the chairman repeated for the record what Rama
had said and even that Rama had stated that he had been beaten
during the period in custody. Rama was then examined on other counts
- accusations of which he declared himself to be innocent.
Furthermore, he stated that he did not know the other defendants
except Avni Nura and this man's brother, Jakup Nura.
At the request of defence counsel, he stated that during the period 17
September - 29 September 1996, he did not know where he was but
that he sat alone in a cell from where he could hear cries of Avni Nura
when he was being beaten.

When the examination of Rama was over, the chairman read out what
Rama had said during the preliminary investigation, that is to say his
confession. After this, Rama was asked if any of this was true. Rama
answered that he had been forced by the police to say everything
which he had said during the preliminary investigation. One of the
judges present tried to pressures Rama by asking how in that case his
confession was so detailed, but Rama stuck to his statement and said
that the police had given him these details. The defence counsel
interrupted the proceedings and addressed the prosecutor directly
by saying the someone had instructed Rama on what to say. The two
and a half hour of examination then came to a close and Rama, who was
standing during the whole examination, was allowed to sit down.

Fear - a reason to admit

Idriz Asllani was next to be examined. Asllani had to stand up and the
chairman told him that he had the right to defend himself by
remaining silent. Asllani, who had also confessed during the
preliminary investigation, stated he was innocent of all the
accusations. Asllani also stated that the reason that he had confessed
during the preliminary investigations was that he had been forced to
it because he had been assaulted and was afraid of being exposed to
more violence in custody. The chairman asked Asllani how his
confession could be so detailed and Asllani also said that he had been

- 18 -
given the details by the police. Asllani also stated that he had never
before seen the other defendants who were present and didn't know
those defendants who were not present. The prosecutor opened by
showing him pictures of other defendants. The defense counsel
protested and enquired whether these pictures were included in
preliminary material. The defence counsel also objected to the fact
that they had not had any opportunity to meet their clients and
prepare the defence before the trial.

Avni Nura was the last to be examined. He stated that he did not know
why he was being prosecuted. He admitted to having been in Albania
but not in military training camps. He also admitted that he had had
possession of the weapons but nothing else. Nura stated that he had
been taken into custody on 16 September 1996 and that he had been
tortured during the 16 days in custody. He said that he had been
kicked in the stomach, was subjected to electric shocks and was made
to stand up for hours on end. Then Nura was examined on why he had
been in Albania and on the activities of his brother. Nura's brother,
Jakup Nura, was one of the defendants who was not present.

And what about Olof Palme?

The first day of the proceedings was concluded when those three
defendants who were present had been examined. In the corridor
outside the courtroom, the President's secretary informed us that the
President wishes to see us again. In his office, the President offered
us soft drinks and enquired about our impressions. We stated that we
found the trial inquisitorial and very different from criminal trials in
Sweden. The President listened with the interest. After this we said
that we considered it very peculiar that the defendants repeatedly
stated that their confessions had been extracted by torture during
the preliminary investigation and that these accusations were entered
into record without anyone seeming to care. The President pointed out
that the murder of Olof Palme had not yet been solved. This prompted
the question of whether he thought that we should have used tougher
methods against the suspects during the preliminary investigations of
that case. To this question we received the answer "the price of
democracy"! After this, the President said that he wanted to buy us a
lunch, before we left and then telephoned the chief district
prosecutor who came and greeted us.

4 June 1997 - Day 2

When we came to the court that morning, the area around the building
was still sealed off. We were forced to stand in a queue order to go
through the metal detector. Then we were forced to prove our identity
yet again outside the courtroom and the police kept our identification
papers throughout the trial. It was said to be an order from the
President of the Court. As far as we could gather, the reason for
further security measures was that weapons were to be exhibited and

- 19 -
witnesses examined.

During this day of the proceeding, 18 witnesses were examined. The
witnesses had to take an oath. The witnesses were allowed to be in the
courtroom before they were examined. The 18 witnesses who we
consider to have capacity of aggrieved parties were asked if they
wished to join the prosecution, which they all affirmed. None of the
witnesses had seen perpetrators and could therefore not identify any
of the defendants. Some of the witnesses briefly stated on request
that they stood by what they had said during the investigation. None
of the witness examinations took more than five minutes. On request
by the prosecutor, the testimony of a nineteenth witness was read out
by the chairman.

After half an hour's recess the chairman read out the record the
seizure concerning the weapons seized from Rama and Nura. The
defendants had signed the record of seizure. Rama stated that he had
been forced to sign for weapons that did not belong to him. All seized
weapons were exhibited in the courtroom. From the record of the
seizure it appeared that there was some kind of map/directions which
had been seized in conjunction with the arrest of Rama and Nura. The
defence counsel demanded that this document be exhibited. The
document was never exhibited with the explanation that it was

All suggestions of the defence - rejected

After going through the seizures, the charges and biographical data
relating to those defendants not present were read out and then the
chairman stated for the record what consequences that the criminal
acts charged had entailed for the aggrieved parties and their

The defence counsel considered that the ballistic examinations
referred to by the prosecutor contradicted each other and demanded
therefore that a new ballistic examination should be made. The defence
counsel further demanded that Rama should be given a medical
examination since he had previously been released from his national
military service duty due to illness.

The prosecutor stated that the demands of defence counsel for a new
ballistic examination was only a way to delay the trial and as regards
Rama's state of health, the prosecutor stated that the fact was that
Rama was not ill. The prosecutor in his turn demanded that a leaflet
from the illegal organization concerned should be read out as well as
the ballistics examination opinion and the identification details of the
absent defendants.

Following the aforementioned demands, private deliberations were
held in the President's office. After the recess, the court pronounced

- 20 -
that all the prosecutor's demands were granted and that all demands
of the defence counsel were rejected.

The day's proceedings ended with a heated discussion between the
defence counsel and one of the judges as to how the ballistic expert's
opinion should be interpreted. The proceedings were delayed for one
day while the court tried to obtain papers relating to Rama's national
military service duty.

6 June 1997 - Day 3

The day's proceedings began with the chairman reading out Rama's
military service dossier, according to which Rama was released
because he was emotionally immature. Then a psychiatrist was
examined. He had not actually examined Rama but only answered
questions based on physicians statement that had been made in
conjunction with Rama's release in 1987.

The defence council demanded once again that Rama should be sent for
medical examination, whereupon the prosecutor demanded a recess.
After the recess the prosecutor stated that he did not have any
objections to this demand. The court then decided, without further
deliberation, that Rama should be sent for medical examination and the
proceedings were therefore adjourned until further notice.

The Judgement

On 11 July, 1997, these 15 ethnic Albanian men were convicted by the
District Court of Prishtina. Besim Rama and Idriz Asllani were found
being guilty on charges being members of the illegal organization, the
Liberation Army of Kosova and involvement in the fatal shooting of
four persons. Besim Rama was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment,
and Idriz Asllani to 15 years imprisonment. Avni Nura was found guilty
of illegal arms possession and sentenced to four years imprisonment.
The other defendants who were tried in abstenia received sentences
ranging between ten and twenty years imprisonment.

The Convention

Yugoslavia ratified the convention International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights (ICPR) and also signed but not yet ratified the
Optional Protocol to the ICPR.

Article 14 in the ICPR lays down the right to a fair trial (see appendix 3).
It is prescribed by item 3:

"In the determination of any criminal charge against him, everyone
should be entitled to the following minimum guarantees, in full

- 21 -
a) to be informed promptly and in detail in a language which he
understands of the nature and cause of the charge against him;

b) to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his
defence and to communicate with a counsel of his own choosing;

c) to be tried without undue delay;

d) to be tried in his presence, and to defend himself in person or
through legal assistance of his own choosing;

To be informed, if he does not have legal assistance, of this right; And
to have legal assistance assigned to him, in any such case if he does
not have sufficient means to pay for it;

e) to examine, or have examined, the witness against him and to obtain
the attendance and examination of witness on his behalf under the
same conditions as witnesses against him;

f) to have free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or
speak the language used in court;

g) not to be compelled to testify against himself or to confess guilt."

Our conclusions

It appears evident that the trial described here does not fulfill the
requirements of the convention (ICPR) for a fair trial. The information
concerning the occurrence of the deprivation of freedom in the
investigative and pre-trail procedure contrary to the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia Law on Criminal Procedure and of torture and
serious outrages are so numerous and have been stated so
convincingly that they cannot be dismissed. There has not even been
a denial from the prosecutor that the information is false.

The wording of the text of the aforementioned Convention indicates, in
our opinion, that there are violations in virtually every respect.
Article 14. 3. d. ICPR provides that everyone should be tried in his
own presence. - We would in this respect particularly like to draw
attention to unreasonable circumstance that the District Court in
Prishtinë convicted 12 people in their absence in spite of the fact that
the charges concerned very serious crimes.

Article 14. 3. b. ICPR provides that everyone should have the right to
adequate time and facilities for preparation of his defence. - We must
also state that an opportunity for those defendants who were actually
present to receive fair treatment was regrettably missing. Several
defence lawyers have mentioned how they have been prevented from
seeing their clients and not allowed to discuss the case with them at

- 22 -
Article 14. 3. f. ICPR Provides the right for everyone to have free
assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the
language used in court. - Interpreting at the trial was deficient. Only
one of the three defendants who were present did speak the language
used in court, Serbo-Croatian, and it was only in connection with
examination of the defendants that there was interpretation to

The very negative impression emanating from the report of the
Humanitarian Law Center on the preceding trial has not changed. Even
if there were reasons for the suspicion of crimes in certain cases, a
trial such as the one in question can never lead to a real judgement.
The image of a purely politically motivated staging is so apparent that
all confidence in the trial is dissipated. It appears appropriate that
the forthcoming trial concerning the other forty people should be

Stockholm 22 July 1997.

- 23 -