The local ‘Zurnal’ web portal has published on Thursday a secretly recorded video which it said shows the head of the institution overseeing the work of Bosnia’s judiciary, Milan Tegeltija, being bribed through a middle man.
Zurnal previously published articles which accused the head of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) of receiving a bribe of about 1,000 Euros from businessman Nermin Alesevic to speed up an investigation in the Canton Sarajevo Prosecutor’s Office.
The web portal wrote that a State Police officer, Marko Panza, took the money on behalf of Tegeltija. In the video, Tegeltija himself has never directly asked for any money or favour in return for speeding up the case.
He only asked for the case number and the name of the prosecutor.
After the video was published, Tegeltija told N1 that the footage actually proves his innocence.
"In the video it can clearly be heard that I am saying ‘I can’t help you right now with anything’, and that I am telling Mr Alesevic to give me the documents, the case file number and the name of the prosecutor, which is common practice in the HJCP for complaints by parties who object the length of processes,” Tegeltija told N1.
When the article was initially published, Security Minister Dragan Mektic claimed the allegations are true and called on Tegeltija to resign and for prosecutors to investigate the alleged affair.
The Prosecutor’s Office formed a case.
Tegeltija told reporters on Thursday morning that the 13 HJPC members who attended a meeting at which the allegations were discussed had unanimously expressed support for him. He denied any involvement in any corruption.
“I don’t intend to comment this case, the competent Prosecutor’s Office will investigate it. I have contacts with people, I drink coffee and have a drink with them and I live a normal life. When in that normal life someone asks me for help regarding the work of judicial institutions, I forward them to the HJCP,” Tegeltija said hours before the video emerged.