I am illegally followed, recorded, spied on and monitored, Milan Tegeltija, Bosnia's top judicial official said Thursday, adding that the recording, in which an investigative portal Istraga.ba claims he can be allegedly heard trading in influence, is fake.
“Milan Tegeltija can never appoint anyone to any court. This is done only by the HJPC, by a majority vote of the members present and voting. I do not participate in the testing procedures either. I have so much to say about that edited content. A much more important question for me is the issue of security, the issue of legality and the environment in which the holders of judicial office perform their duties. It is clear that this is an illegal recording and illegal editing. If need be, I will take a polygraph and I stand by everything I said,” Tegeltija stated.
Bosnia's High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJCP), which appoints prosecutors and judges in the country, held an emergency session Thursday to discuss a recording published by Istraga.ba in which they claim HJCP President Milan Tegeltija can be allegedly heard discussing the appointment of a judge to Banja Luka District Court. The person he was talking to was the former Council member Milijana Buha.
“I believe that the head of Intelligence-Security Agency (OSA) is an honourable man and that he will not deny this. He has informed me that illegal actions are being carried out against me and this has been going on for some time. This instils fear, which is completely natural and understandable. If you're constantly thinking that someone can remove you from your position, you can hardly work normally. Such actions call your integrity into question,” Tegeltija said in his introductory speech.
HJPC member Zeljka Radovic defended Tegeltija, saying that she “will not deal with something that was obtained illegally.”
“Tomorrow, when I enter a courtroom, should I be greeted by illegally obtained content,” She asked, adding:
“When it comes to ours and the safety of our families, but also of all holders of judicial functions, we should talk about that. I am shocked and disappointed. Last year, I was exposed to an unprecedented media lynching from a web portal. I've been accused of a series of untruths. I am not a media personality. They accused me of everything others did. I know best what I went through, then.
I entered [this institution] with my head held high and looked my colleagues in the eye. No one from the Council told me ‘look Zeljko, that's all nonsense, we stand by you’. When that video came out last week, I felt threatened again … that's when I realized that my safety was at zero,” Zeljka Radovic said.
This was not the first affair Tegeltija was involved in. Last year he was captured in a secretly recorded video that suggests he was promising a client to help with his case while a policeman afterwards asked for money allegedly on his behalf.
Local online magazine Zurnal published the video of a meeting between Tegeltija, state police officer Marko Pandza and businessman Nermin Alesevic. It appears to be showing Alesevic handing the money to Pandza but does not contain footage of Tegeltija taking it over. Tegeltija could not be heard asking for any money directly. He could only be heard asking for the case number and the name of the prosecutor.
This case was also dismissed by the HJCP Disciplinary Commission.