If there is anyone listening to whom I owe money, I'm prepared to forget it if you are. - Errol Flynn
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 219, Part II, 9 November 1995

This is Part II of the Open Media Research Institute's Daily Digest.
Part II is a compilation of news concerning Central, Eastern, and
Southeastern Europe. Part I, covering Russia, Transcaucasia and Central
Asia, is distributed simultaneously as a second document. Back issues of
the Daily Digest, and other information about OMRI, are available
through OMRI's WWW pages: http://www.omri.cz/OMRI.html

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^TODAY'S TOP STORY^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
BOSNIAN SERBS FREE U.S. JOURNALIST. Bosnian Serb civilian leader Radovan
Karadzic pardoned David Rhode, a correspondent for The Christian Science
Monitor, on 8 November. Rhode had been charged with illegal entry and
spying, but most observers felt that his real "crime" in Bosnian Serb
eyes was to have exposed the extent of the massacres of Muslims at
Srebrenica. His release to U.S. diplomats came after the Americans had
demanded it at the Dayton peace talks, international media noted. AFP
added that France at Dayton is linking the fate of its two pilots downed
by Bosnian Serbs to the lifting of sanctions against Belgrade. Reuters
said that relatives of missing persons in Croatia, who disappeared
following Serbian attacks in 1991, have also asked that their concerns
be put on the agenda at the talks. -- Patrick Moore
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

FORMER POLITICAL PRISONERS CALL FOR "SYMBOLIC TRIAL" OVER COMMUNIST
CRIMES. Hundreds of former political prisoners and dissidents from 19
countries gathered in Kiev on 7-8 November, calling for a symbolic
"Nuremberg-like" trial over crimes committed by former Communist
regimes, Ukrainian TV reported 8 November. The organizers, the
International Congress of Political Prisoners of Communist Regimes,
believe such a trial would serve as a moral cleansing in various post-
Soviet societies where years of repression and human rights abuses have
gone unpunished and often uncondemned. The Congress, along with the All-
Ukrainian Society of the Repressed and the Israel-Ukraine Society
appealed to the Ukrainian parliament to consider making 7 November (the
anniversary of the October 1917 revolution) a national day of mourning
for victims of totalitarian regimes. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

BELARUSIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT DELIVERS ANOTHER BLOW TO PRESIDENT.
Radio Mayak on 8 November reported that the Belarusian Constitutional
Court has found yet another decree issued by President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka to be unlawful. Following strikes by metro workers in August,
Lukashenka issued a decree banning the metro workers union and lifting
deputies' parliamentary immunity. The court ruled that the decree
contravened the constitution. This is the fifth time the court has voted
against Lukashenka, who has been ruling by decree since May because
voters failed to elect enough deputies to form a new legislature. The
Constitutional Court recently ruled that the old parliament remains the
legal legislature until a new one is elected, but Lukashenka has refused
to accept this ruling. -- Ustina Markus

BELARUSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER DENIES RESIGNATION. Uladzimir Syanko has
refuted rumors that he has fallen out of favor with President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka and will soon be resigning, Interfax reported on 8 November.
According to Syanko, such rumors are spread to "produce chaos in the
Foreign Ministry and give the impression that there is internal strife
within the president's team." A week earlier, Lukashenka denied having
any intention of firing Syanko. He said that the foreign minister has
his own views on certain issues but that as long as he carries out the
president's policies, which are based on the results of the referendum,
there was no reason to dismiss him. In the referendum, voters supported
closer economic integration with Russia. -- Ustina Markus

ESTONIAN GOVERNMENT OPPOSES ABOLITION OF DEATH PENALTY. Prime Minister
Tiit Vahi, following a cabinet meeting on 7 November, said he thought
the country was not yet ready for the abolition of the death penalty,
BNS reported. Justice Minister Paul Varul noted that the parliament can
ratify the European Human Rights Convention without accepting the
protocol that bans capital punishment. A court in Narva that day
sentenced Eduard Magi to death for three brutal murders, rapes, and
robberies. Estonian courts have passed several death sentences since
September 1991, but none has been carried out. -- Saulius Girnius

LATVIA, EFTA INITIAL FREE TRADE AGREEMENT. Latvia and the European Free
Trade Association (Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein)
initialed a free trade agreement in Geneva on 7 November, BNS reported
the next day. The agreement is likely to be signed on 8 December during
an EFTA meeting . Latvia is the first Baltic state to initial such an
agreement with EFTA. The agreement states that the EFTA countries accept
the validity of the rules on the origin of goods stipulated in a free
trade agreement between the Baltic States. Latvia also succeeded in
imposing restrictions on salmon imports from Norway and Iceland for four
years. -- Saulius Girnius

LITHUANIA SENDS LATVIA DIPLOMATIC NOTE ON SEA BORDERS. The Foreign
Ministry on 8 November sent a diplomatic note to Latvian Ambassador to
Lithuania Alberts Sarkanis stating that the Lithuanian government no
longer considers itself bound by any proposals or documents drawn up
during negotiations with Latvia on sea borders, BNS reported. The note
stressed that Latvia has violated Lithuania's sovereign rights by
unilaterally signing agreements with U.S. and Swedish firms for oil
exploration in territory claimed by Lithuania. The Foreign Ministry,
however, said it expected that the problems raised by Latvia's actions
were of a temporary nature only and that ambassador Rimantas Karazija,
who has been recalled for consultations, will return to Riga "in the
near future." -- Saulius Girnius

POLISH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES REVEAL FINANCIAL ASSETS. Incumbent
President Lech Walesa has responded to a request by Aleksander
Kwasniewski, his rival in the 19 November second round of presidential
elections, to reveal his income and tax declarations. Walesa said that
he received $1 million dollars for the film rights to his autobiography
and that "no more than half a million has remained from this sum." He
noted that he has invested all his private funds "in our country."
Kwasniewski admitted that in the financial declaration he was obliged to
submit as a Sejm deputy, he omitted his wife's financial assets. The
Polish press revealed that she owns shares in the Polisa insurance
company worth some $20,000, according to estimates by her husband. --
Jakub Karpinski

POLAND BECOMES NON-PERMANENT MEMBER OF SECURITY COUNCIL. Poland on 8
November became a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for
the next two years, Polish media reported. Permanent Polish
Representative to the United Nations, Zbigniew Wlosowicz, pointed out
that while Poland has been a non-permanent member four times in the
past, it can now present its "sovereign foreign policy" within the
Regional Eastern European Group. Hungary and the Czech Republic have
both served as non-permanent members since 1989, Rzeczpospolita reported
on 9 November. -- Dagmar Mroziewicz

CZECH POLICEMAN SENTENCED FOR KILLING GERMAN TOURIST. A local court on 8
November sentenced Pavel Sach to eight months in jail for killing a 26-
year-old German tourist near Prague in October 1994. Sach testified that
he was attempting to fine Markus Rankel for illegal parking when the
allegedly drunk German attacked him. According to witnesses, Sach
tripped up Rankel and put his gun to the German's head, Czech media
reported. The gun went off and Rankel died four days later. It was the
second such incident in the Czech Republic last year. The judge declared
Sach pulled his gun when Rankel was no longer a threat, and experts
testified that it was "almost excluded" that the pistol could have
discharged accidentally. Sach, 25, immediately appealed the sentence,
which also barred him for five years from any employment that involves
carrying weapons. -- Steve Kettle

CZECH CONSTITUTIONAL COURT REFUSES DUAL CITIZENSHIP. Journalist and
former leading dissident Petr Uhl on 8 November failed in an attempt to
have an article in the Czech citizenship law annulled stating that
anyone who becomes a citizen of another country loses Czech citizenship.
In protest at the division of Czechoslovakia, Uhl in 1993 chose to
become a Slovak citizen but continues to live in the Czech Republic. As
a declared foreigner in his own country, Uhl has no passport and cannot
vote; moreover, his work contract is invalid, his lawyer said. The
Constitutional Court, however, ruled that Uhl was not stripped of his
Czech citizenship but voluntarily "lost" it. Parliamentary chairman
Milan Uhde said Uhl was attempting to practice polygamy, retaining one
wife at home but still marrying another, Czech media reported. Uhl said
if he loses an appeal, he will take the case to the Court of Human
Rights in Strasbourg. -- Steve Kettle

SLOVAK POLITICAL UPDATE. The Slovak National Party (SNS) on 8 November
announced its decision to delay a request that the parliament form a
commission charged with investigating the activities of President Michal
Kovac, the aim of which would be to accuse him of treason. The
anticipated report by the parliamentary commission investigating the
eligibility of the opposition Democratic Union to run in last fall's
elections was also not included in the current session's program. An
amendment to the law on referendums proposed by Movement for a
Democratic Slovakia deputy Jan Cuper is to be discussed during this
session, even though it was not discussed in parliamentary committees.
The amendment would mean that signatures collected to call a referendum
would be screened by the parliament rather than the President's Office.
Mikulas Dzurinda of the opposition Christian Democratic Movement (KDH)
suggested that in a future session, an investigative commission be
established to look into the privatization activities of SNS deputies
and their wives. Dzurinda listed nine questions that need to be
answered. SNS Chairman Jan Slota responded by calling Dzurinda "an
insane, poor man." -- Sharon Fisher

SLOVAK CULTURE MINISTRY ON ADVERTISING. Ivan Reguli, director-general of
the section on public information at the Culture Ministry, on 26 October
sent a letter to state firms on advertising in Slovak newspapers, Sme
reported on 9 November. The letter states: "Advertising is an important
source of income for mass media. We presume that your organization can
support the press that sympathizes with the Slovak government to a
greater extent." -- Sharon Fisher

SHUTDOWN AT HUNGARIAN NUCLEAR POWER STATION. One of the four reactors at
Hungary's only nuclear power station was shut down for a few hours
overnight , Hungarian media reported on 8 November. According to the
state radio the incident did not pose any threat and was caused by a
faulty measuring instrument. Director of the Paks reactor Janos Szabo
denied initial media speculation that the reactor had broken down,
saying it was ordered closed because of the defective measuring device.
The station has four high-pressure water reactors that went into service
in 1983 and provide more than one-third of the country's energy. --
Zsofia Szilagyi

***********************************************************************
Would you like more details and expanded analysis on many of the topics
covered in the Daily Digest? OMRI also publishes the biweekly journal
Transition. The 3 November issue takes a special look at the Balkan
conflict, including these titles: -- "An End Game in Croatia and
Bosnia?" -- Tuzla: "Where Will All These People Go?" -- Mostar: "A Test
Case for the Muslim-Croat Federation" -- Other articles include an
interview with Albanian writer Ismail Kadare. The 17 November issue
examines the changing nuclear threat in the former USSR and Eastern
Europe with such articles as: -- "Nuclear Arms - A Soviet Legacy" --
"Kazakhstan Staggers Under Its Nuclear Burden" and -- 'The Chornobyl
Fallout Persists" -- For subscription info, send e-mail inquiries to
TRANSITION@OMRI.CZ
By mail to OMRI Publications, Motokov Building, Na Strzi 63, 140 62
Prague 4, Czech Republic. Tel.: (422) 6114 3303; Fax: (422) 426 396.
***********************************************************************

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

DOES STATE DEPARTMENT HOLD THE SERBIAN "SMOKING GUN"? The BBC on 9
November reported on the ongoing public controversy between Justice
Richard Goldstone of The Hague war crimes tribunal and the U.S. State
Department. Goldstone earlier this week suggested that Washington was
wary of providing or unwilling to provide his court with the information
it needs to prosecute war criminals. U.S. officials said in reply only
that there had been "glitches" in making highly secret materials
available. A BBC analyst suggested that while nobody denies that
Washington is the court's strongest supporter, the State Department
might be withholding information that could prove counterproductive to
American policy. One such possibility might be evidence clearly linking
war crimes to Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, whom Washington
regards as central to its current "peace process." In another
development, Western agencies quoted a State Department spokesman as
saying that all parties to the conflict will be expected to help the
tribunal and that Washington regards justice as important as peace. --
Patrick Moore

MONTENEGRIN PRIME MINISTER OFFERS LOGISTICAL SUPPORT TO NATO. Milo
Djukanovic, returning the visit by American congressmen who were in
Montenegro earlier this year, said he wants to back the Dayton talks by
offering logistical support for NATO troops at the port of Bar, Nasa
Borba reported on 8 November. Bar could be used to ship weapons,
equipment, and men to Bosnia, he suggested. While Washington
acknowledged this proposal as a confirmation of the "recognizable
foreign policy of Montenegro," a spokesman of the Serbian Radical Party
in Montenegro said it was part of a plan for the secession of Montenegro
from rump Yugoslavia, Montena-fax reported the same day. -- Daria Sito
Sucic

KOSOVO UPDATE. Kosova Daily Report on 8 November said that Serbian
police raided 106 Albanian homes in Pec over the last nine months. At
least 88 ethnic Albanians were beaten up and another 61 maltreated,
while a total of 149 people were detained. During the same period, 17
Albanian party and trade unions activists were sentenced to long prison
terms in the western Kosovar town. The report also says that "Serbian
police have been continuously hunting down draft-age Albanians," adding
that "dozens were delivered to military inductions, while two of them
were forcefully drafted." Elsewhere, police reportedly cracked down on
ethnic Albanian schools in Vucitrn near Mitrovica and maltreated school
staff. Raids are also reported from around Pristine. Meanwhile, Kosovar
shadow-state Prime Minister Bujar Bukoshi urged the U.S. to maintain
sanctions against rump Yugoslavia until a solution to the conflict has
been reached, Reuters reported on 8 November. -- Fabian Schmidt

SATIRICAL WEEKLY LAUNCHED IN SERBIA. Nasa Borba on 9 November reported
that a satirical weekly--the first of its kind in the rump Yugoslavia--
has been launched. Smrklost is to be published in Kragujevac and is
staffed by local journalists and cartoonists. The independent daily
called the new publication the "first Serbian Feral," referring to
Croatia's Feral Tribune, which is widely known for satirizing key
political and social developments in Croatia. -- Stan Markotich

PRO-MONARCHY DEMONSTRATION IN BUCHAREST. Some 3,000 Romanians on 8
November gathered in Bucharest to mark the 50th anniversary of a
brutally suppressed anti-communist rally, international agencies and
Radio Bucharest reported. The demonstrators, waving flags with the
insignia of the Romanian monarchy and portraits of exiled King Michael,
shouted "Down with Iliescu." King Michael addressed the crowd live via a
local radio station. "Even though Romania is not under Soviet occupation
anymore, the struggle that we started in 1945 against communism has not
finished," he said. Emil Constantinescu, leader of the Democratic
Convention opposition bloc, and Ion Diaconescu, deputy chairman of the
National Peasant Party-Christian Democratic (PNTCD), also addressed the
crowd. The protest meeting was organized by the PNTCD's student
organization. -- Matyas Szabo

MOLDOVAN PRIME MINISTER ON TREATY WITH ROMANIA. Andrei Sangheli, in an
interview with Nezavisimaya gazeta carried by BASA-press and cited by
Radio Bucharest on 8 November, said Romania's insistence that the
Molotov-Ribbentrop pact is mentioned in the pending treaty with Chisinau
is aimed at demonstrating that Moldova is an "artificial state." He
stressed that this was not the case, since the Moldovan state was "set
up over 500 years ago, long before the Romanian state was set up last
century." Romanian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mircea Geona on 8 November
responded by saying Sangheli's interview reflected conflicts within the
Moldovan leadership in which Romania does not wish to become involved.
Radio Bucharest reported that Geona reiterated the Romanian position
that Bucharest is striving for a relationship of a "special character"
with Chisinau. He noted that this must be also reflected in the treaty
between the two countries. -- Michael Shafir

CHISINAU, TIRASPOL FAIL TO AGREE ON SUMMIT. Teams of experts meeting in
Chisinau last week have failed to reach agreement on the next Moldovan-
Transdniestrian summit, Infotag reported on 8 November. A
Transdniestrian official told the agency that the sides disagree over
the summit's agenda, with Chisinau insisting on discussing a draft law
on autonomy for the breakaway region and Tiraspol wanting to discuss
relations between two independent republics. The last summit meeting was
held on 13 September. -- Michael Shafir

WAR OF WORDS CONTINUES BETWEEN BULGARIAN PRESIDENT, SOCIALIST PARTY.
Zhelyu Zhelev. addressing EU diplomats on 8 November, accused the
Socialist-dominated parliament of poor performance due to division
within the Bulgarian Socialist Party, Standart reported on 9 November.
Meanwhile, BSP deputies are threatening to ask the Constitutional Court
to rule on Zhelev's support for Stefan Sofiyanski, the Union of
Democratic Forces' candidate for mayor of Sofia. The second round of
local elections in the capital, a run-off between Sofyianski and BSP
candidate Ventsislav Yosifov, is to take place over the weekend.
According to the BSP, the president is constitutionally prohibited from
taking sides in elections. -- Michael Wyzan

ALBANIAN INTERIOR MINISTER PRESENTS LISTS OF BORDER VICTIMS. Agron
Musaraj on 8 November presented the Parliamentary Commission on Defense,
Public Order, and the Secret Service with the first lists of Albanians
killed at the border between 1990 and 1992 and the chief border guards
responsible for the killings. The head of the commission, Azem Hajdari,
said the first indictments against border guards could be made when the
commission received the complete documentation, ATSH reported the same
day. After May 1990, the penal code ceased to specify leaving the
country as "high treason" and to justify the killing of illegal
emigrants. Hajdari estimates the number of victims to be more than 100.
Investigations have already begun against former President Ramiz Alia
and Interior Minister Hekuran Isai. -- Fabian Schmidt

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Jan Cleave

The OMRI Daily Digest offers the latest news from the former Soviet
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            Copyright (C) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                        All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570


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