News 26 Apr 13

Bosnia Arrests Federation President Zivko Budimir

Bosnian police arrested Federation President Zivko Budimir and 18 others on suspicion of corruption on Friday after a series of top-level raids, the state prosecutor said.

Elvira M. Jukic

Budimir, the president of the Bosniak-Croat Federation, one of the two political entities ruling the country, was detained amid three different police actions on Friday aimed at tackling corruption and bribery, the state prosecutor's office told Balkan Insight.

Police also arrested Petar Barisic, Budimir’s advisor, and Hidajet Halilovic, the head of the entity’s amnesty commission.

“Zivko Budimir, Hidajet Halilivoic and Petar Barisic were arrested. After the joint police team interrogated them, they will be processed further,” Boris Grubesic, press officer for the prosecutor’s office, told Balkan Insight.

The three are alleged to have been involved in taking bribes to approve amnesties.

Sarajevo media have reported that Budimir had accepted 162 of 435 demands for amnesty for people sentenced for crimes as grave as attempted murder.

Earlier on Friday, Laura Bosnjak, Budimir's spokesperson, confirmed that his office had been raided but denied allegations that he was taking bribes.

His workplaces in Mostar were also raided, as well as the offices of the Federation entity government in the town.

Anadolu news agency reported that police were also raiding sites in the Herzegovinian town of Siroki Brijeg, where the company of agriculture minister Jerko Ivankovic Lijanovic's family is located.

Reports have further suggested that another company in the town was being raided, whose owner was one of those amnestied by Budimir.

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