ISSN 2330-717X

Bosnian Ex-Chief Prosecutor Tried For Abuse Of Office


By Haris Rovcanin

The trial of Goran Salihovic opened at the Cantonal Court in Sarajevo on Tuesday, with the former chief prosecutor accused of spending around 41,000 euros of money that were earmarked for exhumations, interviews with witnesses and court experts in restaurants in Bosnia and on trips abroad.

He is alleged to have committed the offence from early February 2013 to September 28, 2016.

A second count alleges that on April 29, 2015, he travelled with his associates and a companion from the Directorate for Coordination of Police Bodies to a counter-terrorism conference in Paris in order to take a sightseeing tour of the city.

Despite warnings, they were late and missed their flight, for which they had return tickets. This resulted in the purchase of new tickets, which Salihovic paid for with his own money, but on his return, he told his employers to refund around 1,980 euros to him, the indictment claims.

Salihovic rejected the indictment as “unclear” and said he did not abuse his position.

“There was no breaching of limits or budget… These facts came out from an audit report, as well as from experts’ findings,” he said.

Prosecutor Amra Mehmedic insisted however that witnesses would “speak about the defendant’s arbitrariness and arrogance in doing his job and his arbitrary disregard for warnings from employees”.

Denying the charges, Salihovic said he did not intentionally miss his flight back from Paris, but was delayed by a security check on his bodyguard.

“This is a witch hunt. It is shameful that a chief prosecutor is treated in this way,” he said.

“This is a show trial, a Kafka case,” he added.

The first prosecution witnesses in the trial will be heard on February 14.

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The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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