Home | News    Tuesday 22 August 2006

Sudan wants to use jailed Slovene envoy to warn Intl community

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Aug 21, 2006 (LJUBLJANA) — The lawyer of presidential envoy to Darfur Tomo Kriznar who is jailed in Sudan, Halil Tukras is of the opinion that Khartoum wants to use Kriznar’s arrest as a warning to the international community not to interfere with Sudanese matters.

In an interview for TV Slovenia, Halil Tukras said that the Khartoum higher court discussing appeals has already debated the Kriznar case and would probably soon inform the public about its ruling.

Kriznar is allegedly treated well in prison. According to Tukras, Kriznar is a victim in a political game.

In the lawyer’s opinion, the Slovene Justice Ministry should be more active because a court ruling can be annulled either by the state president or the justice minister. Turkas believes that a more active ministry would increase chances for an agreement.

President Janez Drnovsek’s special envoy Hamdija Blekic has good knowledge about legal procedures in Sudan and also knows influential people. He said in a short telephone interview for TV Slovenia that he was very optimistic after Sunday talks in Khartoum. He is of the opinion that Kriznar will soon be released. Blekic has got a permission to visit him in the Al-Fashir jail and he is also trying to move the court case to Khartoum.

Following Drnovsek instructions, Blekic will call upon President Omar al-Bashir to pardon Kriznar. Blekic will call a special news conference during which he will apologize for Kriznar’s mistake - entering Sudan illegally. Blekic is already discussing a televised statement with Al-Jazeera TV and with the Sudanese state TV.

SLOVENE CONSUL NEEDS A FEW MORE DAYS

At the meantime, Slovene consul Andrej Dernovscek is in Khartoum. Together with his German colleagues and members of the international organizations, he is preparing his visit to Al-Fashir.

On Saturday, he was received at the Sudanese Foreign Ministry. Andrej Ster of the Slovene Foreign Ministry said for TV Slovenia that this was a complicated process which needed enough time. He was more careful in his predictions about Kriznar’s release, saying that he did not expect it soon.

QUARREL OVER PRESIDENTIAL ENVOY TO RELEASE KRIZNAR

Slovene Prime Minster Janez Jansa and Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel are displeased with President Janez Drnovsek’s new solo move designed to save his envoy to Sudan, pointing to a "new problem" which could arise with the president’s new "private envoy" Hamdija Blekic, the daily Dnevnik observes on Monday 21 August.

The so far completely unknown Blekic told the public broadcaster that he has succeeded in meeting Sudan’s Vice President Ali Osman Taha in only 24 hours, adding that Tomo Kriznar’s release is only a question of time.

Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel said last night for TV Slovenia that the mission was not headed correctly since the beginning. According to him, the president’s office did not work in line with internal and international rules: "The president has to work in line with legislation as well. I am not blaming him, I blame his advisors who should know how international missions are prepared."

Rupel said that Hamdija Blekic was Drnovsek’s second special envoy. Rupel is worried that another problem can now occur. According to him, his mission is informal and similar to Kriznar’s, while the ministry was informed about it by the media.

Prime Minister Janez Jansa also criticized Drnovsek’s decision to send - he said - a private envoy to Sudan. In his opinion, the current situation is a result of parallel foreign policies. The president’s office has not yet commented on the prime minister’s statements.

(ST)

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