With regards to the recent public statements made by the RS President, Milorad Dodik, implying an arrest of the Deputy High Representative and Head of OHR Banja Luka, Ambassador Marianne Berecz, made after the session of the Republika Srpska National Assembly on 17 October 2017, the High Representative, Valentin Inzko wishes to clarify:
- In this particular case, Ambassador Marianne Berecz was not present in the premises of the RS National Assembly before, during, or after the session of 17 October.
- As a matter of standard practice and in line with the OHR mandate, designated OHR staff regularly monitors sessions of parliamentary bodies across the country, including sessions of the RS National Assembly, as do other diplomatic representatives. In that regard, Annex 10 of the GFAP clearly states that the Parties to the Agreement shall fully cooperate with the High Representative and his staff.
- Annex 10 also states that the professional members of the High Representative’s staff have the same privileges and immunities as enjoyed by diplomatic agents under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The Vienna Convention (Article 29) also states that the person of a diplomatic agent shall be inviolable. He or she shall not be liable to any form of arrest or detention. The receiving State shall treat him or her with due respect and shall take all appropriate steps to prevent any attack on their person, freedom or dignity.
- In any event, the President of the Republika Srpska does not have the prerogative to issue an arrest warrant against anyone.