Italian journalist Luigi Pelazza, who filmed a story on an illegal arms purchase in Bosnia and Herzegovina, "set up" the evidence to portray the country as a free market for supplying weapons to terrorists, according to the results of an investigation carried out by the State Prosecutor's Office and police, announced in Sarajevo on Friday.
The investigation was prompted by Pelazza's story broadcast by the Italia Uno television channel purporting that Bosnia and Herzegovina was a logistics base for the terrorist organisation Islamic State and its attacks in Europe.
Police identified and arrested two persons from Sarajevo whom Pelazza described as arms traffickers from whom he had illegally purchased weapons. His claims were found to be untrue.
The two men confessed during the investigation that the Italian journalist had given them money to pose on camera as arms dealers. The two men were found to be registered drug addicts living in abject poverty, the State Prosecutor's Office said, adding that investigators had located the weapons which Pelazza used in his story.
The State Prosecutor's Office said that the Italian journalist had caused damage to Bosnia and Herzegovina's international reputation and commitment to the fight against terrorism. It has informed the Italian authorities of this case so that they can take the necessary action.