Bosnian prosecution expanding probe into illegal Serb referendum

Bosnia and Herzegovina's prosecutorial authorities have expanded an investigation into an unlawful referendum held in the Republika Srpska (RS) Serb entity on 25 September with Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik being the prime suspect  in order to also prosecute Milan Petkovic, a member of the commission that implemented the referendum, local media reported on Wednesday.

The Bosnian Serb broadcaster RTRS on Wednesday televised a copy of a subpoena sent to Petkovic to appear before the prosecution in Sarajevo on October 10.

The subpoena notes that the hearing regards the "case against Milorad Dodik for not executing a Constitutional Court decision."

Dodik was to have appeared before the prosecution on October 3 however he did not appear.

Prior to that Dodik said that he had no intention of going to Sarajevo because he didn't feel safe there and suggested a meeting with the prosecution somewhere in the territory of the Serb entity.

The prosecution has said that a new subpoena would be sent to Dodik, too.

Failure to execute a Constitutional Court ruling is a criminal offence that carries a prison sentence between six months and five years.

Even though the Constitutional Court in 2015 ruled that celebrating Republika Srpska Day on 9 January was unconstitutional, authorities in that entity ignored the ruling and called a referendum challenging the Constitutional Court's authority.

Late September the Court ascertained that the ruling hadn't been executed and informed the prosecution of the matter in order to take relevant steps in accordance with the law to penalise this behaviour.

Last update: Wed, 05/10/2016 - 18:29

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