Disciplinary Actions Against Bosnia’s Top Judicial Official Dropped
Bosnia’s top judicial authority dropped on Monday a disciplinary complaint against its boss, who became embroiled in a corruption scandal after a secretly-filmed video was released showing him allegedly taking bribes through a middleman.
High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) - which is charged with appointing and regulating the work of judges and prosecutors - also rejected a request for the suspension of Milan Tegeltija as President of the HJPC. Both requests were denied on the grounds of being inadmissible.The Disciplinary Commission of the
Dragan Mektic, Bosnia’s Security Minister, who called for protests against the judiciary last week, greeted the news of the dismissal with a missive directed at Tegeltija on Twitter.
“Quit your annual vacation and return to work, the mafia has defended you from the state,” he tweeted.
The eight minute video at the center of the scandal was filmed in November 2018. It shows an officer named Marko Pandza from the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) meeting in a cafe with Tegeltija and businessman Nermin Alesevic.
Pandza appears to be acting as an intermediary while the two are discussing Alesevic’s case, which has been slowly handled by the Canton Sarajevo’s Prosecutor's Office.
Tegeltija asks Alesevic for the case number and the name of the prosecutor handling it but does not directly ask for any money or favors from the businessman.
Yet when the three exit the cafe the video shows an exchange between Pandza and Alesevic, in which Alesevic counts out the equivalent of US $1,143.6 in Bosnian money and hands it to Pandza, who assures him he will give the money to Tegeltija.
“He will take care of it,” Pandza assures Alesevic.
The businessman later told N1 that he recorded the video and gave it to foreign embassies and media in order to expose the corrupt state of Bosnia’s judiciary.
Tegeltija denied he knew about the conversation the policeman and the businessman had after he left, and claimed that the footage only proves his innocence.
He also said he is not excluding the possibility that the police officer misused his friendship.