Bosnia and Croatia keep harbouring each other’s fugitives

NEWS 24.05.2019 09:30
Source: N1

While Bosnia is seeking the extradition of a former judge accused of organised crime from Croatia, Croatia wants Bosnia to extradite a former football mogul accused of corruption - yet neither country is making a move.

A Croatian court ruled in June last year that former director of the football club Dinamo, Zdravko Mamic, his brother, another former director of the club and a tax official defrauded the club by more than 15 million Euros and the state by about 1,6 million Euros in unpaid taxes.

Mamic was sentenced to six and a half years in prison. He denied any wrongdoing and a day before the sentencing, he crossed over to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Bosnia’s court rejected an extradition request as Mamic also has Bosnian citizenship.

Now there are new charges against Mamic. Croatian prosecutors accuse him of conspiring to defraud Dinamo of 27 million Euros between 2004 and 2015, together with six others.

Source : N1

Meanwhile, former Municipal Court judge in Sarajevo, Lejla Fazlagic, is walking freely in Croatia although she stands accused of being part of an organised crime group led by prewar Bosnian interior Minister Alija Delimustafic.

The group is suspected of a variety of crimes committed between 2009 and 2016, including money laundering, fraud and abuse of office.

Fazlagic allegedly registered property of deceased persons to the names of herself, members of the organised group and their family members. The property was then sold, allegedly netting the group either profit or property worth more than 10 million Bosnian Marks (5,1 million Euros).

Source : N1

She also adamantly denies any wrongdoing.

When reporters asked Croatian Justice Minister Drazen Bosnjakovic on Thursday whether he will sign a request for the extradition of Fazlagic to Bosnia, he said, “when the conditions are met, yes.” He did not explain those conditions.

Bosnjakovic meanwhile hopes that another request to extradite Mamic to Croatia will be more successful than the last one.

Bosnia’s Justice Minister, Josip Grubesa, said on Wednesday that when Croatia sends the request, Bosnia’s State Court will have the final word.

The crimes both are accused of were allegedly committed before an Agreement on Extradition between the two countries came into force.

According to Croatian journalist Ivan Pandzic, the entire issue is part of a political game.

“Whatever courts decide, the Minister (Bosnjakovic) must sign off,” he said, but noted that “there is no deadline to sign those decisions.” He insisted that even the Constitutional Court said that Fazlagic must be extradited, but that the Minister did not sign off on it for two years.