The following media round-up on international, legal and foreign policy issues from around the Balkans for the period from 14 December 2023 to 21 December 2023. Guernica 37 will provide weekly media updates with a focus on Bosnia and Hercegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. Should you wish to contribute or submit a media summary, opinion piece or blog, please send to Ned Vucijak at email@example.com for consideration.
Albania - 21 December 2023
Albania’s parliament has voted in favour of a request from the Special Prosecution against Corruption and Organized Crime, SPAK, to lift the immunity from prosecution of former prime minister Sali Berisha; see here.
Kosovo - 21 December 2023
Serbia’s telecom company said it will challenge in court a hefty fine imposed by Kosovo’s competition authority for not notifying it about the acquisition of several cable operators; see here.
Bulgaria - 21 December 2023
Human Rights Watch makes a submission to the 95th session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (the “Committee”) and its review of Bulgaria. The submission focuses on the right to education, including the protection of education from attack, and pushback and mistreatment of migrant children by Bulgarian authorities; see here.
Romania - 20 December 2023
In a move that has sparked a wave of controversy, Romania’s Senate and Chamber of Deputies have greenlit a bill impacting the nation’s tax evasion laws. The decision decriminalizes tax evasion for sums under one million euros if the defrauded amount is reimbursed within a month of the conclusion of an ANAF (National Agency for Fiscal Administration) audit; see here.
Bosnia - 20 December 2023
Stojan Petrovic was sentenced to seven years in prison for raping a woman prisoner at a house used by Bosnian Serb police in the town of Brcko in July 1992; see here.
Montenegro - 20 December 2023
Zoran Gasovic, a serving police officer in Montenegro, was arrested for allegedly committing war crimes against civilians in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992; see here.
Montenegro - 19 December 2023
Do Kwon, the embattled co-founder and CEO of the blockchain firm Terraform Labs (TFL), is required to stay in Montenegro after the Appellate Court in the Balkan country accepted his appeal and revoked the High Court's approval of his extradition to the U.S. or South Korea; see here.
Montenegro - 18 December 2023
Blagoj and his fellow protestors demonstrate against the expansion of the Bitola thermal power plant. This project threatens to exacerbate not just the already severe air pollution crisis that blights Bitola, but also nestled in the vicinity of the new Zivojno mine that will feed the power station is Vlaho, the oldest Neolithic settlement in North Macedonia which is rich in archaeological treasures as well as lignite; see here.
Bosnia - 18 December 2023
Bosnia's State Investigation and Protection Agency arrested the former director of the state intelligence service, Osman Mehmedagic, and the state court's president, Ranko Debevac, for suspected abuse of office; see here.
Kosovo - 14 December 2023
On 14 December 2023, the Court of Appeals Panel in the case of the Specialist Prosecutor v. Salih Mustafa, composed of Judges Michèle Picard, Kai Ambos and Nina Jørgensen, issued the first appeal judgment of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) in a case dealing with war crimes; see here.