Milan Tegeltija, Bosnia's top judicial official, announced on Friday a civil lawsuit for slander against all media outlets and journalists, politicians and other persons who presented what he called “inaccurate claims” according to which he was involved in corruption.
Tegeltija came into the spotlight last month after a local investigative outlet Zurnal.info published an article alleging that he was involved in corruption. The same media outlet also published a video which shows a businessman who offers money to Tegeltija through a middleman, the state police officer, in return for speeding up a case at local courts. The footage doesn't contain images of Tegeltija taking the money.
Milan Tegeltija is the President of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC), a state body overseeing the work of the judiciary, appointing and disciplining judges and prosecutors, and alleged affair sparked strong attention in Bosnia's public.
The state prosecutors opened a case to investigate the allegations and summoned Tegeltija, who denied all accusations.
In a statement for N1, the HJPC President said the Zurnal's video was actually going in his favour and was proving his innocence.
Today, while addressing the media during a break of the HJPC's session, he said he would sue those who falsely accused him.
Besides the lawsuits, Tegeltija said he would also file complaints against those who framed and presented “false news” which was aimed to put him into a “criminal and disciplinary persecution.” Disciplinary complaints will also be filed against the judicial officials “who got involved in the ongoing criminal procedure before the Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina, suggesting the Prosecutor's Office I would have to be a suspect in this case,” said Tegeltija who was interrogated within the case as a witness.
“And finally, the complaint before the European Court (of Human Rights) in Strasbourg against the judge of that court Faris Vehabovic, who directly got involved in the procedure with its public statements.”
The truth will come out to the surface, said Tegeltija, stressing that he will focus on individuals in the complaints.
“This is not an attack on the journalistic profession, I support media's right to the criticism and right to the informing but protection of my rights refers to overstepping of those rights,” he said.