Officials: Murder of police officer was a heinous crime

Source: N1

The Friday morning shooting in Sarajevo that took the life of one police officer while the other was severely injured was a “heinous” crime as the officers had not even left their vehicle when they were shot at, Sarajevo Cantonal officials said at a press conference.

“This was a heinous crime because the police officers hadn’t even left the car, nor did they use their weapons, they were not warned, the officers were shot at as their vehicle was still moving,” said Adem Zolj, the Prime Minister of the Sarajevo Canton, KS, adding that “this is an attack on the state.”

“We all hope that, with the help of God and doctors, the other police officer will be saved. According to information we have, the battle for his life is ongoing and he is about to have another surgery,” Zolj said.

He said he expects a serious investigation to take place and that the perpetrators will be found.

“We will be in contact with ministries and agencies throughout the day,” he said.

KS Interior Minister Vedran Mulabdic expressed hope that the perpetrators will be brought to justice and severely punished.

“A father, brother and son are irreplaceable and we will secure the necessary resources for the family in order to try to ease their pain,” he said, repeating Zolj’s statement that “an attack on a police officer is an attack on the state.”

KS Police Commissioner Mevludin Halilovic said that this incident represents a continuation of aggressive behaviour toward police by criminal groups.

“We have been warning about this last year,” he said, explaining that the Government of the Federation (FBiH), the Bosniak-Croat semi-autonomous entity, had approved resources for the police to acquire more firearms.

A number of prosecutors are at the site of the shooting, he said, adding that the FBiH police and the State Protection and Investigation Agency (SIPA) have also been involved in the investigation.

“They never gave our police officers a chance. They (the officers) did not even turn on their siren on, not to mention grab their firearms and they were already shot at,” he said.

Sarajevo’s mayor Abdulah Skaka expressed his condolences to the family of the murdered officer and said he hoped the other will recover soon.

“As the mayor, I believe it is high time for the lives and the properties of the residents to be protected but also the lives of our professionals, as they are the state’s most valuable asset,” Skaka said.

Skaka called on police and prosecution to do their utmost to find and punish the perpetrators and added that “nothing is more important than the lives of our citizens.”

Now, he added, “only justice can provide permanent security to the citizens and the capital.”

KS Police immediately informed police in Republika Srpska (RS), Bosnia’s Serb-dominated semi-autonomous entity, and the police forces are cooperating as the perpetrator(s) might have escaped to the RS, RS Interior Ministry spokesperson Mirna Miljanovic told the Fena news agency.

The shooting sparked numerous reactions from politicians but also from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

“The OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina expresses deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of the police officer that was killed in Sarajevo this morning and hopes for the full recovery of his wounded colleague.

We stand together with the law enforcement agencies in ensuring safety and security for all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” a statement from the head of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia, Ambassador Bruce G. Berton, said.