State Prosecution interrogates MP on controversial purchase of ventilators

NEWS 25.09.2020 14:21
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Source: Fena

A former high-ranking official of the main Bosniak party, the SDA, Asim Sarajlic, was interrogated on Thursday as a witness in the controversial purchase of ventilators that involved senior officials of Bosnia's Federation (FBiH) entity.

Sarajlic, who still is an SDA member and currently serves as a member of Bosnia's House of Peoples, was interrogated before the State Prosecutor's Office.

Reportedly, the procedure lasted for several hours and the politician's mobile phone was seized as a part of it.

The State Prosecution is carrying out an investigation into 5.2 million Euro-worth purchase of Chinese ventilators that involved the top officials of the FBiH Government, the Civil Protection Administration and the Srebrena Malina company, which was a mediator in the process.

The prosecutors interviewed dozens of persons within the investigation.

The first shipment of 80 ventilators, aimed for Covid-19 patients, arrived on April 25 but the State Prosecution determined that their use in the intensive care unit was not recommendable. The remaining 20 machines arrived on May 17.

It was established that the ventilators which Srebrena Malina – a fruit and vegetable processing company from the eastern town of Srebrenica – procured for the FBiH region do not meet the minimum requirements for treating Covid-19 patients.

The FBiH Government suspended Civil Administration Director Fahrudin Solak as one of the suspects in the case. Besides him, the prosecution also suspects FBiH Prime Minister Fadil Novalic, Director of the Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices Aleksandar Zolak and Srebrena Malina company owner Fikret Hodzic.

On May 31, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina rejected the Prosecution's proposal to put the suspects in detention but imposed the measures of banning any mutual meeting among the suspects and their meeting with witnesses.

The court revoked the measures on August 5.