BiH's top judicial official Milan Tegeltija informed on Tuesday the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJCP) of his plan to resign from all functions in the body, following the latest scandal where he was accused of allegedly trading in influence.
The President of the HJPC that appoints all judges and prosecutors in the country, said he already prepared his resignation in a written form which he plans to submit once his collogues tell him to do so, and that the reason stated in the resignation is technical in nature.
In his address to the council, Tegeltija called on members Goran Nezirovic, Slava Lakic, Selim Karamehic and Berina Alihodzic to also resign.
A BiH investigative journalism portal Istraga.ba released an audio recording last month allegedly featuring the head of the HJPC discussing the possibility of naming the sister of a former member of the Council to the post of Judge in the Banja Luka Basic Court.
According to Istraga.ba, the conversation was between him and former HJPC member Miljana Buha.
The portal also added that Buha insisted on the appointment of her sister, Sanja Cegar, and that Tegeltija can allegedly be heard saying that the “tactic” should be left to him.
Both Tegeltija and Buha denied the allegations in statements for N1, arguing that the recording proves the opposite – that they agreed such an appointment would be a conflict of interest.
Following the publication of the said recording, Tegeltija held a press conference stating his own and the security of his family had been threatened and that BiH state institutions failed to protect him as President of the top BiH judicial official from these attacks.
Both national and international institutions condemned what could be heard on the recording, urging Tegeltija to resign regardless whether the recording was made legally. Transparency International said the recording is yet another proof that the HJPC is part of Bosnia's judiciary problem and not its solution.
The Office of the High Representative also said Tegeltija's resignation is needed in order to restore the public's trust in the judiciary, while other HJPC members urged him to resign during an earlier session.