ZAGREB, April 4, 2019 – Prosecutors in Bosnia and Herzegovina will not investigate persons named in an alleged intelligence scandal, which some of the local media and the security minister linked to Croatia’s Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA), but will continue “working on the case”, the Prosecutor’s Office in Sarajevo confirmed in a statement on Wednesday.
“The Bosnia and Herzegovina Prosecutor’s Office decided not to investigate the Deputy Minister of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina Mijo Krešić, the journalist Mate Đaković and the General Consul of Croatia in Tuzla, Ivan Bandić,” the statement emailed to Hina said.
The statement said that the decision was made based on inquiries after the news website Zurnal.info said that Krešić, Đaković and Bandić were involved in illegal activities connected with the recruitment of Bosnian nationals close to radical Islamist circles in that country.
After the opening of the investigation, investigators interviewed Đaković, Krešić, the journalist Avdo Avdić, who ran the story, Minister Mektić, and a person identified only by their initials C. H., whom SOA agents reportedly attempted to recruit. Also interviewed was one Midhat Hasanspahić and the chief of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Intelligence and Security Agency (OSA), Osman Mehmedagić.
“None of the witnesses heard, except Avdo Avdić who was not questioned about the affair because there are legal obstacles to his questioning, presented any knowledge of the involvement of the three persons in those activities,” the Prosecutor’s Office said in the statement.
Police agencies have told the Prosecutor’s Office that they have no information about the activities reported by Zurnal.info. The website said that SOA agents were recruiting members of the Salafi movement in Bosnia and Herzegovina to plant weapons in their communities which were later to be used as evidence that Bosnia and Herzegovina is a stronghold of a large number of dangerous radical Islamists.
The Council of Ministers and the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina had no such information either, the Prosecutor’s Office said.
It noted, however, that some other questions had emerged during the inquiries, namely who were the persons who identified themselves as agents of security and intelligence agencies of other countries. The Prosecutor’s Office will look into this matter in cooperation with the authorities in Croatia and Slovenia.
The statement said that the evidence and witness statements showed that the Ministry of Security did not have official information on the claims made in the Žurnal report at the time when Minister Mektić publicly confirmed their veracity.
“The Prosecutor’s Office will continue working on the case,” the statement said.
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