What is the purpose of spectacular action movie like arrests of people filmed by media when they are at home with their families? Who is authorized to determine the level of risk or threat of the persons who are arrested in that way? BH citizens get to watch on TV expensive and spectacular actions, which, following the arresting, do not develop into court trial. Those arrested, more often than not, are released. Some of them sue the state.
Three years ago, then the president of the Court BiH, Meddzida Kreso spoke in an interview for FTV about problems relating to work of BH judicial institutions, which exist even today. She used the phrase 'judicial mafia'. Except for journalists, nobody else reacted to such a statement by the first person of the BiH Court.
In December 2014, TV cameras captured equally spectacular arrest of then Prime Minister of Una-Sana Canton, Hamdija Lipovaca. He was arrested by the Federal Police. The Prosecutor's Office claimed to have evidence of Lipovaca's misuse of power and breach of duty of seven years before. Following a thorough court trial, Lipovaca was acquitted!
In an interview for news agency Patria, Lipovaca spoke about consequences of the arrest that he and his family still suffer. He told us that he would not sue the state, however, he warned of the necessity to transform the judicial system so as to stop misuse of police powers and resources.
- In the country with police owned by political parties and not by people, which is used for discrediting individuals who stand in the way of the elite families on the current political or economic scene, one can wonder if we live in a European BiH or one of the countries of Latin America where arrests, persecutions and sudden disappearance of people take place every day, says Lipovaca. He alleges that some people from SDA established a precedent – 'if you want to get rid of somebody, just submit an anonymous complaint and leave it to us (SDA)'.
That's how it went in his case, he alleges. He says that top political officials, referring to Asim Kamber, some people from the Federal Police, loyal media from the Una-Sana Canton working together with the cantonal prosecutor Fadila Amidzic, made a deal about his arrest.
- They agreed to 'do away with me' in that manner because they were unable to do so politically, says Lipovaca. He evoked obscure memories of actions that preceded his arrest, brutal behavior, unjustified and uncalled for use of force during his arrest at home, shotguns pointed at his three children.
- After they pushed me down to the ground and tied me up, the special forces carried me from the house to the front yard for FTC cameras to capture the moment. However, FTV were 10 minutes late so I was pressed to the ground with foot on my back until they arrived. This is only one of many details about the unfortunate event. My 6 year old daughter had a seizure induced by the shocking scene. We all still suffer consequences, explained Lipovaca.
- This manner of treating people who are not in any way a threat to policemen who carry out arrests has to stop, he thinks. 'Of course, it is different with dangerous killers, mafia and alike, who could fire at police. At the time of the arrest, I was the Prime Minister of Una-Sana Canton and the minister of interior. I wonder who estimated that arresting me would require such use of force! exclaims Lipovaca pointing at the facts which prove that his arrest was a 'show arrest'.
The internet is flooded by pictures of arresting Semsudin Mehmedovic, the delegate at the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly BiH, charged for hiding the arms in Tesanj. Soon after he was acquitted.
TV cameras also followed SIPA's special forces and the Federal Police during their arresting the members of the selefi movement in BiH. On 20 December 2016, the state prosecutor Dubravko Campara ordered termination of investigation against 11 members of selefi group arrested in 2015 in the operation 'Cut'. The order was based on the lack of evidence that the suspects were involved in the criminal act of terrorism. The eight members of the group who were arrested and spent 30 days in detention, have sued the state.
Other cases of spectacular arrest with equally grand media coverage were those of Kemal Causevic, the director of Tax Office BiH, Jerko Ivanovic Lijanovic, the federal agricultural minister and Milorad Bahilj, the FBiH trade minister.
If one googles up Zivko Budimir, the former president of Federation BiH, there are records of his arrest. He was also acquitted.
- A responsibility mechanism should be established for all those ordering parties in the prosecutor's offices and the police. They should bear the cost of unnecessary or failed operations, failed and fake charges. Not the state, but they personally, with their own means and criminal responsibility, says Lipovaca, adding that, despite of what he and his family have been through, he will not sue the state.
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