Anti-Corruption Network of Civil Society Organizations in Bosnia (ACCOUNT) organised a petition in Sarajevo, Thursday, asking for the State Prosecution to file a complaint against the country's top judicial official, Milan Tegeltija, for obstructing an investigation into a corruption complaint.
"We're trying to give the public an opportunity to say what they think about the case because all previous attempts were in vain due to politics which started meddling in the case," Eldin Karic, the Director of ACCOUNT told the media.
Thursday's petition signing was held in Bosnia's capital, and on Friday, the petition moves to Northern Bosnian city of Banja Luka.
We expect the prosecution to finally start doing its job, to start working in the interest of the public. We expect Tegeltija to fulfil his promise and sue all those who objected his work and we want him to sue all the citizens who signed the petition," Karic noted.
Bosnian investigative news portal Zurnal published a text in May, saying they have a video allegedly showing Nermin Alesevic, a businessman from Bosnia's northern town of Velika Kladusa, giving some €1,000 to an officer called Marko Pandza, from the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) – Bosnia's special police.
Zurnal wrote that Pandza was allegedly supposed to give the money to Milan Tegeltija, the head of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council which appoints judges and prosecutors and disciplines them, who would then look into Alesevic's case.
Tegeltija denied the allegations as false and malicious, announcing lawsuits against every media outlet and individual who spoke about him in this context.
On June 19, the Prosecution said they are investigating Alesevic and the said police officer for bribery, and that Tegeltija was questioned as a witness in the case.
This Thursday, hours before the petition signing in Sarajevo was organised, Alesevic told N1 that the Prosecution sent him the date of his questioning which will be held Friday, June 28, where he will be treated as a suspect. He is suspected of giving a bribe and recording people unlawfully.
Despite his requests for immunity, the Prosecution denied his request and started an investigation.
The ACCOUNT Director said they would submit the petitions to the Chief Prosecutor after the signing in other towns.