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Bosnia president arrested for corruption

Zivko Budimir, president of the Bosniak-Croat Federation, one of the governing entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) [OHCHR profile], was arrested on Friday along with 17 other officials as part of a corruption investigation and crackdown. Budimir and others were detained and questioned [Balkan Insight report] while their offices were being raided and then they were arrested. The group is suspected of receiving bribes in exchange for amnesty, illegal intimidation and drug trafficking. Among the others arrested were Budimir's advisor and the head of the amnesty commission. It is reported that Budimir has accepted 162 of 435 demands for amnesty for those accused or convicted of a broad range of offenses.

BiH is still recovering from the impact of the Bosnian War which was fought from 1992 to 1995. In the midst of increased corruption, trials of those responsible for atrocities committed during the war continue. Last month, a Bosnian court sentenced [JURIST report] Montenegro paramilitary leader to 45 years in prison. In January, the same court sentenced a former Bosnian Serb police officer to 20 years in prison [JURIST report] for his role in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre [HRW backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. In December, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) sentenced [JURIST report] a former Bosnian Serb army commander of genocide and crimes against humanity for his role in the massacre. BiH in particular has been continuously prosecuting, convicting and sentencing those responsible for the killings, and even those who left the country are being brought back to face charges. In December the BiH war crimes court acquitted two Serbian defendants [JURIST report] of involvement in the massacre.

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