Police detained the Prime Minister of Bosnia’s Federation (FBiH) region, the entity’s former head of the Civil Protection Agency and the owner of a company after questioning them about a controversial government deal which involved the procurement of overpriced ventilators that are unfit for treating COVID-19.
All three, FBiH Prime Minister, Fadil Novalic, former head of the FBiH Civil Protection Authority, Fahrudin Solak, and the owner of the company, Fikret Hodzic, spent the night at the State Protection and Investigation Agency (SIPA) and are expected to be handed over to state prosecutors on Friday.
The three were questioned in connection with the purchase of 100 ventilators from China by a company running a raspberry farm with no history in dealing with medical equipment. The fact that a 10.5 million Bosnian Mark (some 5.3 million Euro) government contract was granted to Srebrena Malina sparked outrage in the semi-autonomous Bosnian region.
According to prosecutors, experts found that the ventilators “did not even meet the minimum characteristics necessary for the adequate treatment of patients in intensive care units, among which are COVID-19 patients.”