Parliamentary question by Olivier Dupuis (ARE) to the Commission and answer given by Mr Van den Broek on behalf of the Commission

Parliamentary questions
by Olivier Dupuis (ARE) to the Commission
(13 July 1998)

Subject: Financial transactions carried out by Mr Karadzic

According to a report which appeared in the Banja Luka weekly Nezavisne Novine and was taken up in the Corriere della Sera of 22 June 1998, DM 17 million (the equivalent of Lire 17 March 1997 from the National Bank of the Republika Srpska (the Serb Republic) to the Nuova Banca di Credito di Trieste (also known under the Slovene name of Trzaska Kreditna Banka); this transfer of funds seems to have been carried out by henchmen of the war criminal Radovan Karadzic shortly before they were obliged to hand over the government of the Serb Republic to the "moderates" of the current Prime Minister, Milorad Dodik. The enormous capital sum transferred is assumed to consist either of the proceeds of the looting carried out by the Bosnian Serbs in the course of their "ethnic cleansing" drive or of funds misappropriated from the Serb Republic.

In view of the foregoing, what information can the Commission obtain concerning the activities of the Liechtenstein-based company Sarnos Establishment, which seems to be used by the "Karadzic clan" as a cover for capital transfers?

What information can the Commission obtain concerning the activities of the Rome-based International institute for political and economic research on cooperation and development (Ispeco), headed by Mr Gianfranco Oliverio, which appears to have emerged in June 1995 as a political and economic pressure group lobbying on behalf of Radovan Karadzic in Italy?

What action does the Commission intend to take to prevent, in future, any direct or indirect collusion or connivance with the war criminal Radovan Karadzic and to strengthen the European institutions' cooperation with the ad hoc Tribunal dealing with war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia?

Answer given by Mr Van den Broek
on behalf of the Commission
(14 September 1998)

The Commission has been informed of the articles that have appeared in the Italian press regarding the financial transactions said to have been effected by Mr Karadzic. It has, unfortunately, no further information nor the resources to investigate the truth of the acts that are alleged.

Nevertheless, the Commission would like to recall that it suspended in 1997 its assistance operations in Republika Srpska, following similar accounts involving suspected war criminals. It has from the outset taken the view and repeatedly made it well known that those suspected of war crimes should be held accountable and answer for their deeds and be brought to justice in order to ensure lasting peace and stability in Bosnia Herzegovina.

Through its budget the Community is supporting the activities of the International Criminal Court.