Ivo Skoric on Thu, 21 Oct 1999 18:24:16 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> (Fwd) Nato leader's son in Sarajevo film cash row

This is hillarious. Bulajic (a Serb nationalist) is making film about
siege of Sarajevo. That's amusing enough. But then there is this
peripathetic Bosnian minister Sacirbey who seems to know every single
scumbag in the US and this time the scheme involves no other then the son
of the commander of the allied forces involved in the bombing of Serbia.
It can't get better. 

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------

Cross-posting of commentary only permitted

Sunday's Observer (London) - in addition to breaking the Chinese embassy
story - also had a piece on an entertaining scandal about a missing
half-million DMs, Wesley Clark Jr., and a Bosnian government project "to
make an epic film of the siege of Sarajevo." 

Thomas Keenan Human Rights Project Bard College

Copyright Guardian Media Group plc. 1999
The Observer
Sunday October 17, 1999

Nato leader's son in Sarajevo film cash row
Nerma Jelacic

The son of General Wesley Clark, the Nato supreme commander who led allied
forces in the air raids against Serbia and Kosovo, is caught up in an
embarrassing financial row involving the Bosnian government's attempts to
make an epic film of the siege of Sarajevo. 

Wesley Clark Junior and Mohammed Sacirbey, Bosnia's ambassador to the
United Nations, are among a number of those involved in the production
being asked to explain how Bosnian government money provided to fund the
troubled film was spent. 

At the centre of the row is Veljko Bulajic - the former Yugoslavia's most
famous film director - who is demanding a government inquiry into the
expenditure of money provided to produce the film, entitled Sarajevo . 

Wesley Clark's name emerged amid inquiries by the Bosnian media last week
into claims that the production was unable to account for 500,000
deutschmarks. While there is no suggestion that Clark or Sacirbey had
misappropriated the funds, they have come under the spotlight following
claims that both men exaggerated Clark's Hollywood experience and that he
was overpaid for his work. 

The difficulties with the film appear to have come to a head when director
and screenwriter Bulajic was fired and Wesley Clark Junior appointed
executive co-producer. Bulajic responded by questioning Clark's Hollywood
credentials and the fate of seed money for the production. 

According to Bulajic, Clark was originally appointed on the recommendation
of Sacirbey to supply the names and addresses of US casting agents, for
which he was supposed to receive a nominal fee. 

Sacirbey had brought Clark into the production on the basis of claims that
he was an already established movie-maker 'with a working relationship
with Danny DeVito's production company Jersey Films'. 

According to Bulajic, Clark was supposed to receive 'just a few thousand
dollars' for providing contacts. However, the Bosnian magazine Dani claims
to be in possession of a bank transfer printout from Vakuf Bank into
Clark's private account, for $10,000 amid claims he received at least

The Observer has been told that Wesley Clark Junior is not listed in the
Directors and Producers Guild of America and Danny DeVito's company had
only worked with him once when he had the role of a creative executive. 

'I did not know whether to put him in the directing or producing
department as he did not tell me that he worked in the movies before,'
claims Bulajic. 'In the end I authorised him to make contacts on our
behalf with some international actors and casting agencies. He made just a
few contacts but did not work very hard.'

The controversy over the payments is at the centre of a wider scandal over
the alleged disappearance of large sums of the pre-production budget. 

The film had already spent Dm1.5m of its budget when Bulajic requested
that an independent commission of inquiry into its expenditure was formed. 
'The film team had spent around Dm830,000 for the pre-production purposes,
and nobody seemed to know where the rest of the money had gone,' said

When Bulajic received no response from the production company, Bosna Film,
he repeated his demand for full accounts in public. 

Nedzad Hadzimusic, Bosnian ambassador at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs -
who is also the president of the executive board on Sarajevo - insists,
despite Bulajic's complaints: 'Wesley Clark Junior has done a lot for this

Mohammed Sacirbey also fiercely defends his introduction of Clark Junior
to the film project. 'Wesley Clark Junior is a person of high capacity and
good connections.'

However, Hadzimusic admits that the question of where the half million
missing deutschmarks have gone remains unanswered. 

'We will wait for the report [of Bosna film] which we will analyse and
then, if necessary, we will open an independent enquiry,' he said. 


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