Lives could have been saved had Bosnian officials done their job, lawyer Senad Pecanin told N1's Amir Zukic on Wednesday night, commenting on the weak reaction of BiH authorities in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, adding that conditions have finally been met for citizens to sue the state for damages.
“I think that that sufficient conditions have been met for all citizens who've used up all their savings for the purchase of medicines, implementation of all diagnostic methods, to seek compensation for their funds through lawsuits and out of court settlements,” Pecanin said. “The state is obliged to provide health care. I expect those responsible, if there are any in our country, to raise this issue legally if necessary. We are in a situation where citizens are not able to come for a lung x-ray, while on the other hand, they don’t have the funds to go to private clinics. The situation in which the citizens of BiH find themselves is tragic. When (the Federation entity’s) Prime Minister Fadil Novalic says that he didn’t want to play the role of the state, why doesn't he have the same attitude towards the benefits he enjoys as Prime Minister. We are exposed to the arrogant regime of individuals who have been completely devoid of shame.”
In his opinion, Bosnian politicians are not acting any differently than they have been over the past two decades but that the only difference now is the circumstances.
“The behaviour of the authorities during the pandemic is almost the same and no worse than the behaviour over the past 25 years. The difference is only in the circumstances. Up until now, their crimes have not resulted in the loss of life,” he said.
He then touched upon the criminal charges filed recently against Bosnia's top-ranking officials for not doing enough to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic – primarily for not purchasing the vaccines.
“Criminal charges were filed against four responsible officials: Zoran Tegeltija, Ankica Gudeljevic, Fadil Novalic and Vjekoslav Mandic. (According to the indictment) the defendants committed the criminal offence of ‘negligent work in the service.’ Such crimes are punishable by one to ten years in prison,” he added.
In his opinion, the indictment is well-founded given the painful, catastrophic situation in which Bosnians live in.
“I think that this criminal report should be taken much more seriously. I don't see a way for the Prosecution to ignore it. There are many elements of other crimes here, as well,” Pecanin concluded.