US sanctions former BiH Chief Prosecutor and member of parliament

NEWS 11.04.2022 17:07
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Source: N1

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has placed former BiH Chief Prosecutor Gordana Tadic and Asim Sarajlic, a Bosnian MP on the Office of Foreign Assets Control's (OFAC) list of sanctioned individuals from the Western Balkans, the Department of the Treasury announced Monday.

Asim Sarajlic is a member of the parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and was until recently a high-ranking Party of Democratic Action (SDA) official in BiH. Sarajlic is the infamous subject of the “Asim affair,” a political corruption scandal in which Sarajlic was caught promising to secure a job for the wife of a party delegate in exchange for a requested vote on a political party position. Sarajlic has been indicted for additional offences, including abuse of office and influence peddling, the Treasury Department said.

Sarajlic has also abused his position in relation to BH Telecom, a large BiH state-owned enterprise. In this capacity, Sarajlic personally accepted payments from job applicants in exchange for positions, and otherwise exerted inordinate influence over the hiring process. As part of this activity, Sarajlic recommended candidates who were reportedly severely underqualified, undermining the integrity of the company.

Sarajlic was designated pursuant to E.O. 14033 for being responsible for or complicit in, or for having directly or indirectly engaged in, corruption related to the Western Balkans, including corruption by, on behalf of, or otherwise related to a government in the Western Balkans, or a current or former government official at any level of government in the Western Balkans, such as the misappropriation of public assets, expropriation of private assets for personal gain or political purposes, or bribery.

Gordana Tadic served as Chief Prosecutor of the State Prosecutor’s Office of BiH from 2019 to 2021. In 2021, she was officially removed from her position by the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council following her failure to assign cases to prosecutors through an automated case distribution system designed to prevent prosecutor assignment decisions based on personal or political reasons. In addition, Tadic reportedly used her position as Chief Prosecutor to promote her own personal and familial interests. Furthermore, she allegedly collected state housing fees through a fictitious contract.

Tadic was designated pursuant to E.O. 14033 for being responsible for or complicit in, or for having directly or indirectly engaged in, actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in the Western Balkans.

On  January 5, 2022, the Treasury designated BiH Presidency member Milorad Dodik and ATV television said to be under his control as responsible for corruption and destabilizing for the country.

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