Activists brought a horse in front of the office of Bosnia’s international administrator on Saturday in an effort to force him to intervene after an alleged corruption scandal, named “Shoeing the horse,” rocked Bosnia.
A secretly recorded video was recently published, showing the President of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC), Milan Tegeltija, speaking to a businessman he met in a coffee shop about speeding up a case.
The HJPC is the institution overseeing Bosnia's judiciary.
After splitting with Tegeltija, the businessman who recorded the footage is seen paying a policeman who arranged the meeting a significant amount of money, which the policeman said was for “shoeing the horse,” referring to paying Tegeltija for the favour.
The HJPC, the only institution in the country authorized to appoint and discipline judges, prosecutors as well as its own members, stood behind its boss and rejected a disciplinary complaint and against him and a request for him to be suspended pending the investigation.
This means there is nothing anyone in the country can do about Tegeltija in terms of dismissing or trying him.
This outraged Bosnians nearly more than the video itself and many point to the country’s top international official, High Representative Valentin Inzko, an Austrian diplomat who technically could fire Tegeltija and his entire Council.
This power was given to him by the 1995 peace agreement that ended Bosnia’s war. However, he has not used it for years. Now is the time to do so, claims the NGO “Restart,” whose members brought the horse in front of Inzko’s office.
“The Office of the High Representative (OHR) is the only instance which can react after the Disciplinary Commission rejected a request to launch a case against Milan Tegeltija. I think there is no justice in this state,” said Stefan Blagic, from the ‘Restart.’
“Come on react people, make a concrete move,” he urged employees of the Office. “Only in that way can you help this state. Otherwise, we will think that you are working against the interests of this country,” he said.
Restart said they want to motivate Inzko to react properly this time, since he is in general “mildly reacting to the breaching of numerous laws.”