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news 31 May 13

Bosnia Federation President Urged to Quit

A parliamentary commission set up to determine whether the Federation entity President should retain his post has said that he should go.

Elvira M. Jukic
BIRN
Sarajevo

The commission of the House of Representatives, one of two chambers of the Federation entity parliament, on May 30 said that Zivko Budimir should quit as President.

This came after Budimir spent almost a month in custody on charges of taking bribes to approve amnesties.

The commission will now send its conclusions to the entity parliament, which will either confirm or dismiss them.

Budimir himself has said that being investigated for alleged corruption should not prevent him from assuming his presidential duties once more.

Questioned earlier by the commission, he said that he did not break the law in approving amnesties - and did not intend to transfer any of his authorities to his two vice-presidents simply because he was not able to sign any documents while in custody.

Budimir was arrested on April 26 in his office in Sarajevo along with four others involved in the controversial amnesty process.

He was released after the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina annulled the State Court's previous decision to place him in custody, saying there were no grounds for doing so.

Budimir and the four others were then released.

While the State Prosecutor's office condemned the release, Budimir's attorneys said they would seek to establish the prosecutor's own responsibility for an act that had endangered the privacy of the investigation.

They say that details of the charges were released in order to prejudice the public concerning Budimir's innocence.

On the other side, the prosecutor's office has said that it will soon release an indictment against Budimir.

Budimir, who is is also vice-president of the Croatian Party of Rights, a minor ethnic Croat party, become President of the Federation in March 2011.

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