Zagreb Interpol office issue arrest warrant for Mayor of Velika Kladusa F. Abdic

Fikret Abdić
Source: Fikret Abdić (AFP)

Interpol has issued a red warrant for Fikret Abdic, a convicted war criminal and the current mayor of Bosnia’s Velika Kladusa, Faktor.ba news portal confirmed Wednesday, adding that the warrant was issued at the request of the Zagreb Interpol office.

The portal noted that one of the police agencies in BiH confirmed that the Croatian authorities were looking for Abdic for the criminal offence of abuse of position or authority.

When Abdic served a prison sentence in Pula, Croatia, for war crimes, Croatian media reported that the State Attorney's Office (DORH) had indicted him and his son Ervin for abuse of office or authority.

The indictment said that on January 27, 2000, as the director of a company from Rijeka, he drew up a fictitious loan agreement with the help of his son Ervin Abdic with an agreement on the transfer of property rights, to obtain a house and construction site owned by that company.

The same indictment charged him with authorizing his son, in May 2005, to sign loan agreements with an enforcement clause to establish a lien on all real estate owned by a Rijeka company in which Fikret Abdic was a director and another Karlovac company. Thus, Ervin managed to get a two million kuna loan from a bank in Zagreb by mortgaging four houses and a yard in Rijeka owned by a company from Velika Kladusa.

He was acquitted of these acts in 2015, but the Croatian Supreme Court revoked that verdict in 2019 and ordered a retrial.

In 2002, Abdic was sentenced by the Karlovac County Court to 20 years in prison for war crimes in Bosanska Krajina region, and in 2005 the Croatian Supreme Court reduced his sentence to 15 years.

After serving two-thirds of his sentence, he was released, after which he returned to BiH and won the mayoral election in Velika Kladusa.

He was arrested on June 18 last year as part of an operation by the Federation (FBiH) entity Police Administration codenamed Mreza (Network). Five more people were arrested at the time. The Network operation was the result of several months of investigation by the local Prosecutor's Office, which was conducted against seven natural persons and one legal entity, and whose actors are suspected of several prolonged criminal offences of abuse of position or authority and violation of equality in performing economic activities.

These are crimes committed from 2016 until the moment of their arrest.

He was released from custody on the eve of the local elections the same year so that he could again participate in the campaign for the mayor of Velika Kladusa.

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