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news 08 May 13

Bosnia Minister to File Charges Against Himself

The Bosniak-Croat Federation’s agriculture minister Jerko Ivankovic Lijanovic said he will file charges against himself in order to clear his name of alleged criminal mismanagement.

Elvira M. Jukic
BIRN
Sarajevo

Ivankovic Lijanovic announced on Tuesday that he would file charges in four cases in a bid to prove that he hadn’t acted illegally while in office.

He said that the charges he was about to send to the prosecutor will tackle accusations which include claims that he wrongly increased subsidies to milk producers while neglecting other agricultural enterprises.

“I will send the criminal charges to the state prosecutor to determine whether  there’s a doubt that those to whom the benefits referred to could have voted for [my] People’s Party Work for Progress and whether I broke the law,” Ivankovic Lijanovic said.

He called an extraordinary press conference on Tuesday in Sarajevo to speak out against media reports about him, claiming that some of the stories were initiated by his political rivals.

“If my resignation would solve all the problems in the Federation, I would resign myself, although that will not solve the problems, but the functioning of institutions in accordance with the law will,” he said.

He said that charges which were filed against him by the Hypo Alpe Adria Bank were politically motivated, aimed at discrediting him and thus enabling the restructuring of the Federation entity’s government to exclude his party's ministers.

One of the recent media reports about Ivankovic Lijanovic has also alleged that the bank filed charges against his family for losing it around 30 million euro.

He said he was not sure how many charges have been filed against him, and that he had only learned about most of them from the media.

But he insisted that whatever he had done while in office had not been a crime.

Ivankovic Lijanovic is the vice-president of the People’s Party Work for Progress, NSRzB, which is one of the ruling parties in the Federation entity government, but not part of the parliamentary majority.

The new parliamentary majority, led by the Social Democratic Party, has been trying for almost a year to dismiss ministers from the NSRzB and two other former coalition partners, but has so far failed to do because the three parties have used a series of legal strategies based on the constitution to resist the moves.

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