It isn’t yet known whether the found copy belongs to Serbia or Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The original of the Dayton Peace Agreement, which had been missing for years, was found during a police raid in Pale near Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was offered for sale in the black market, and the seller asked for 100,000 convertible marks (50,000 euros), announced the Republika Srpska police on Wednesday, reports Večernji List on November 1, 2017.
Željko Kuntoš from Pale, who was found with the original of the historic agreement signed in 1995 which ended the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was arrested after police received information that he was planning to sell the document. The copy was found during a search of his home.
The copy carries the original signatures of Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Alija Izetbegović, and Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milošević.
The investigation of the whole case has been taken over by the Prosecutor’s Office of the Republika Srpska, which is yet to find out exactly how Kuntoš obtained the copy of the Dayton Agreement and to whom it originally belonged. Various speculations have emerged after the arrest, because it is not clear whether this is a copy intended for the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina or Serbia, given that both governments do not know where their copy is.
The only copy whose whereabouts are known with certainty is Croatia. The Bosnian copy has never even reached any of the state institutions, while the Serbian copy is assumed to have disappeared in 2000, during the overthrow of Milošević’s regime.
Krešimir Zubak, a former member of Bosnian Presidency member and a participant in the Dayton peace talks, said he was surprised that the missing copy was found in Pale. “It is more likely that this is not our copy of the Dayton Agreement,” said Zubak.
Miro Lazović, Speaker of the Bosnian Assembly until 1996 and another living participant of the 1995 peace talks, also believes that it is more likely that the copy in question is actually the Serbian one, given that Kuntoš used to work as a driver for a former speaker of the Assembly of the Republika Srpska. Also, Kuntoš was in Paris when a formal signing of the document agreed in Dayton was held in December 1995. Some media claim that Kuntoš is still an active member of the Republika Srpska Ministry of the Interior.
In addition to Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, copies of the Dayton Agreement were given to the governments of the United States, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Russia, whose leaders witnessed the signing of the document.
The original of the agreement is in the English language, with copies made in Croatian, Bosnian and Serbian languages.
When it was discovered in Sarajevo in 2008 that they did not know where was the original copy of the agreement, whose annexe is today’s constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the government had to ask France to send a certified copy.
Translated from Večernji List.