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Bosnia Federation Lawmaker Arrested For Bribery

Bosnia’s State Investigative and Protection Agency arrested Federation entity MP Midhat Osmanovic for allegedly taking a bribe of around 10,000 euro to get someone a job.

Osmanovic, of the Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina, SBiH, an MP in the Federation parliament, was arrested on Wednesday when he allegedly tried to take a bribe of around 10,000 euro to guarantee employment.

He was detained in a hotel in Tuzla after the state prosecutor and the State Investigative and Protection Agency staged an operation using marked banknotes.

“O.M. is under investigation by the prosecutor and is suspected of organised crime related to other crimes, among which are taking a bribe from one person of 20,000 KM [10,000 euro],” the prosecutor’s office said.

Another official, Velic Toric, director of the Tuzla canton’s Health Care Insurance Authority, was also arrested in the same police operation.

The Bosnian security ministry praised the operation, saying that the arrests showed that the country was fighting corruption.

But watchdog organisation Transparency International in Bosnia and Herzegovina expressed caution, saying that the arrests does not mean that corruption was being tackled systematically, although it welcomed the operation.

Meanwhile the president of the SBiH party, Amer Jerlagic, said that he was surprised to hear about the arrest of the parliamentarian.

Earlier this year, the president of the Federation, Zivko Budimir, was also arrested for alleged bribery, over suspicions that he was taking money to pardon criminals.

He spent a month in custody but was released and continued to working as the Federation’s president despite facing two prosecutions, for illegal possession of a gun as well as for bribery.