Parliamentary question by Olivier Dupuis (ARE) to the Council and reply

Parliamentary questions
by Olivier Dupuis (ARE) to the Council
(28 July 1998)

Subject: Financial transactions carried out by Mr Karadzic

According to a report which appeared in the Banja Luka weekly Nezavisne Novine and which was taken up by the Corriere della Sera of 22 June 1998, DM 17 million (the equivalent of Lire 17 billion) were transferred in 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.

- what information can the Council 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 Council 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 Council 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?

(14 December 1998)

The Council thanks the Honourable Member for having drawn its attention to this matter. The Council regrets that, due to the nature of the question, it cannot provide the information requested. But the Council has handed over the text of the Honourable Member's question to the authorities of Italy and Liechtenstein who are looking into the questions raised.

As concerns the strengthening of the European institutions' cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, the Council would like to point out that cooperation with ICTY is first and foremost the responsibility of individual member States. Nevertheless, the Council has always put its political support behind the work of ICTY and has made cooperation with the tribunal an important aspect for assessing compliance by the successor states of former Yugoslavia with the Dayton Peace Accords.