Milan Tegeltija, Bosnia's top judicial official, responded on Friday to the statement of Bosnia's international administrator who said he was surprised that suspension request against Tegeltija within an investigation into corruption allegations was dismissed.
“I am forced to address you in this open letter with an aim to protect my own rights guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms as well as the UN Declaration of Human Rights, which stipulate the right to unbiased judgement and the fair and righteous procedure,” Tegeltija responded.
“Yesterday's statement of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr Valentin Inzko, has unfortunately caused the crucial endangerment of my aforementioned rights viewed through the general context of the rule of law principle, by which he overstepped his mandate and competencies he was assigned with by the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and its annexes and supporting documents.”
Valentin Inzko, the international administrator in Bosnia, appointed to oversee the implementation of the 1995 peace agreement, said on Thursday he was surprised by the decision of a disciplinary body to dismiss a suspension request filed against Tegeltija pending an investigation into corruption allegations he was allegedly involved with.
“Such a situation is unacceptable,” said the Austrian diplomat.
Given his authority and competencies the High Representative was assigned with, Tegeltija said, his statement can “significantly influence” the disciplinary procedure, decision-making process and final decision in the case where Tegeltija is a defendant.
“In this way, Mr Inzko jeopardised my right to a fair and unbiased procedure as well as a fair and unbiased interpretation of laws by an independent and impartial body which applies it in a specific situation that concerns me,” said Tegeltija.
He recalled that the High Representative is a final interpretation of the Dayton Peace Agreement (a treaty which ended the 1992-95 Bosnian war) but that neither the General Framework Agreement for Peace nor its annexes and supporting documents prescribe that he is authorised to meddle with the ongoing procedure at competent courts.