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Bosnia court orders release of president

The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina [official website] ordered [press release] Friday that Zivko Budimir [official website, in Croatian], president of the Bosniak-Croat Federation, be released from jail immediately. Budmir was arrested [JURIST report] in April along with 19 other officials as part of a corruption investigation and crackdown. Budmir, who has been charged with accepting bribes to grant amnesty to numerous convicts, left the prison in the southern town of Mostar late Friday evening.

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) [OHCHR profile] is still recovering from the impact of the Bosnian War which was fought from 1992-1995. BiH is also still deciding how to treat war crimes prisoners. Earlier this month the BiH war crimes court [official website] acquitted [JURIST report] former Bosnian Serb prime minister Gojko Klickovic [case materials] of war crime charges. In March the BiH war crimes court convicted a former paramilitary unit commander [JURIST report] from Montenegro on multiple counts of murder, torture, rape and looting committed during the the civil war in the former Yugoslavia and sentenced him to 45 years of imprisonment. In January the BiH war crimes court sentenced a former Bosnian Serb police officer to 20 years in prison for his role in the Srebrenica massacre [HRW backgrounder; JURIST news archive].

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