by Azhar KALAMUJIC
The material used by the publication to back up its accusations against the chief of the press-center of the Tuzla municipality and a columnist in several Bosnian newspapers [including Oslobodjenje] consisted of his e-mail correspondence with Alosman Huseinovic, a former Ljiljan journalist who currently lives in Amsterdam.
In the classical propaganda manner, Front Slobode tried to prove that Alispahic was a spy by quoting from the correspondence between the two friends on three pages below the headline announcing "a conspiracy against democracy in Tuzla".
Although in his e-mail messages Alispahic mentions several personalities from the political and social life in Tuzla and the Federation, based on the announcement for the article one could conclude that this adventure was initiated to prove his secret connection with controversial Mirnes Ajanovic, the president of the Bosnian Party (BOSS), who was the first one to speak out about the alleged financial abuses of the former mayor of Tuzla and presently the governor of the Tuzla canton, Selim Beslagic.
Alispahic was accused of providing information to Ajanovic and he in turn used that information in his attacks on Beslagic. Alispahic was allegedly under surveillance from the moment the BOSS president revealed that Beslagic financed his book "Man and the City" from the municipal budget, and then sold it for his own profit. Alispahic knew the most about the production of the book, as he, as one of the most trusted collaborators of the former Tuzla mayor, worked on its preparation for print.
Front Slobode went even further in its attacks, and in the letters found a secret conspiracy against the authorities in Tuzla prepared by the cabal consisting of Ljiljan, Oslobodjenje and valter, the three publications in which Alispahic publishes his columns.
In the issue of the paper that was distributed for free, the readers could learn that Alispahic likes to drink a few, to do push ups, curse... that he criticizes Bosnian Social-democrats for their lack of Bosniak national feeling, and refers to their leader Zlatko Lagumdzija as "the computer"...
Tuzla was subsequently proclaimed for the city of strictly controlled letters. Because of what has been done to Alispahic it is questionable whether any journalist or individual critical of the authorities in Tuzla will dare use the Internet, e-mail of telephone in the foreseeable future.
Front Slobode claimed that it obtained the correspondence thanks to local hackers. This was simply a bad excuse for those who have access to the "Delta" server, where Alispahic's e-mail account was hosted. "Delta" is a private provider that runs the network used by all the municipal departments. The passwords are held by the main chief of the computer center, who in turn is a confidant of Selim Beslagic.
Suspicions that the chief of the press-center was tailed on orders of the former and present mayor of Tuzla were prompted by Beslagic himself. Before the publication of transcripts of Alispahic's e-mail messages he stated that "soon, it will be revealed who is behind Mirnes Ajanovic" and "everything about Fatmir will be known on Thursday".
Indications of Beslagic's involvement in this case are offered by Alispahic as well. He offered the following evidence: "The protected witness D.K. can confirm that as early as on February 7 governor Belagic knew about information from my private e-mail messages," says the journalist emphasizing that Belagic in his statement for Radio Free Europe on the day the article in Front Slobode was published admitted that he had copies of Alispahic's e-mail correspondence.
If Beslagic and company kept repeating that they have nothing to hide and the information about their work was in public domain, how could they claim that Fatmir Alispahic was a "Tuzla mole" if "there are no secrets"?
This scandal-affair will be remembered by lukewarm reactions of the domestic press, silence of the international institutions, which waged veritable media wars prompted by similar attacks [coming from a different side].