ZAGREB, April 20, 2019 – Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Chief Prosecutor Gordana Tadić said in Sarajevo on Friday that the investigation into the alleged recruitment of Bosnian citizens by the Croatian intelligence agency SOA had not been completed yet, expressing regret that the SOA and the Bosnian intelligence agency OSA had not settled this problem in direct communication between themselves.
The two agencies “should have settled it between themselves and it should never have become public because it disturbed citizens in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as in the region,” Tadić told the press in Sarajevo.
It was the first time that the public prosecutor had commented on the scandal which broke out after the Zurnal.info news website and Bosnian Security Minister Dragan Mektić claimed in mid-March that SOA agents tried to recruit citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina with ties to radical Islamist groups to illegally transport weapons within the country and plant them in Islamic places of worship as proof that Bosnia and Herzegovina has become a stronghold for thousands of potential terrorists.
After that, prosecutors opened an investigation into those claims, and Tadić said on Friday that her colleagues had found that the three persons named in this case – Deputy Security Minister Mijo Krešić, Croatia’s Consul General in Tuzla Ivan Bandić, and Mato Đaković, a journalist with the Bosnian Serb TRS television network, were not involved in such activities.
At the same time, prosecutors opened an investigation into Minister Mektić on suspicion of disclosing confidential information and jeopardising national security.
Tadić would not comment on this case, but she did confirm that the investigation into the allegations that SOA agents had put pressure on citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina in attempts to recruit them, was continuing.
The chief prosecutor said that there was also a third line of investigation leading to Slovenia. She said that a prosecutor would go to the Slovenian town of Novo Mesto to interview a Bosnian citizen who said that SOA agents had intimidated him to get him to collaborate with them.
When that part of the investigation has been concluded, the Prosecutor’s Office will present the results of the investigation to the public, Tadić said.
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