News | Sunday, 20 September 2009

Bookmark and Share

Malta replies to Karadzic, but invokes ‘confidentiality’

The Maltese government has invoked “confidentiality” in its formal response to a request for information made by former Bosnian-Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, currently held in detention at The Hague and awaiting trial for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes stemming from the war in Bosnia during 1991-1995.
The government has filed its response to Karadzic’s third request for information from Valletta, this time for information about the “alleged” involvement of Maltese national Meinrad Calleja and Italian national Ciro del Negro in gun running to the Bosnian Muslim army during the Balkan wars.
Karadzic asked Malta to produce all information on the “shipment of arms, ammunition or military equipment to the Bosnian Muslims in 1992-95 such as that engaged in by Meinrad Calleja and Ciro del Negro, including material used in proceedings to exclude del Negro from Malta such as intercepted conversations in which the arms smuggling was discussed.”
The United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) issued a binding order, giving the government just a week to produce all information in its possession about Calleja and del Negro, the latter expelled from Malta in 1995.
The government’s response was filed on September 11, the day the binding order expired.
While the ICTY’s judges upheld Malta’s request to have the information submitted to Karadzic bound by confidentiality, sources confirmed that the four-page reply contains references to investigations conducted by the Maltese and Italian security services during the time of the Bosnian war.
“The document had minor references to Meinrad Calleja but a lot on Ciro del Negro, including details that led to a government decision to expel del Negro from Malta.”
But the reply also recommended Karadzic to enquire further on these investigations with the Italian government, who reportedly is in possession of telephone conversation transcripts and other material relating to the alleged arms smuggling to the former war-torn region.
The request made by Karadzic was reportedly the subject of a meeting between senior officials from the Office of the Prime Minister, the Foreign Office and the Ministry for Home affairs, who in turn asked the Attorney General for guidance.
The police and the Security Service have also been reported to be involved in the evaluation of the sensitive request.
Meinrad Calleja was arrested by the police in 1995 and sentenced in 2001 to 15 years’ imprisonment after being found guilty on four counts of cocaine trafficking, conspiracy to drug trafficking and cocaine possession during and before November 1993. In February 2004, he was acquitted of masterminding the attempted murder of Richard Cachia Caruana, then the private assistant to Prime Minister Eddie Fenech Adami.
Prior to his arrest in 1995, the security services had photographed Calleja in Sliema with Ciro del Negro, then employed as a seaman with Virtu Ferries.
Known as a wheeler-dealer, del Negro was implicated in a number of cases, however no charges were ever brought against him by the police for lack of concrete evidence. He was suddenly ordered to leave the country in March 1995, after being declared as a ‘persona non-grata’ by the authorities.


Any comments?
If you wish your comments to be published in our Letters pages please click button below.
Please write a contact number and a postal address where you may be contacted.



Download MaltaToday Sunday issue front page in pdf file format

All the interviews from Reporter on MaltaToday's YouTube channel.


A tight space for the economy


Saviour Balzan
The cabinet meets

Raphael Vassallo:
The morning after the century before

Evarist Bartolo
Tapping a huge world education market

Claudine Cassar
The flaws in taking on single mothers

David Friggieri
Le temps qui reste

Copyright © MediaToday Co. Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann SGN 9016, Malta, Europe
Managing editor Saviour Balzan | Tel. ++356 21382741 | Fax: ++356 21385075 | Email