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High-level corruption cases in the Western Balkans and Turkey

Illegal employment mediation in public companies - High-level corruption cases in the Western Balkans and Turkey

Illegal employment mediation in public companies

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Introduction

The former secretary general of the ruling Party of Democratic Action (SDA), Amir Zukić, and other prominent members of SDA are being tried on charges of illegal employment mediation in public companies.

Country
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Sector
Energy and natural resources
Offence
Abuse of official position or authority
Phase
1st instance procedure

Description of the case

The former secretary general of the ruling Party of Democratic Action (SDA), Amir Zukić, and other prominent members of SDA are being tried on charges of illegal employment mediation in public companies.

The nine defendants, Amir Zukić, Safet Bibić, Nedžad Trako, Senad Trako, Ramiz Karavdić, Esed Džananović, Asim Sarajlić, Mirsad Kukić and Seid Fazlagić, are suspected of having been members of an organised criminal group formed by Zukić and Bibić in 2016 to illegally facilitate employment. Several of the suspects were or still are prominent members of SDA and held public office at the time of the offence.

The group allegedly found party members and others who were willing to pay for employment at the Bosnian public enterprise Elektroprivreda Bosne i Hercegovine (BiH). This electric utility is one of the biggest public companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Amir Zukić is accused of using his influence over Esed Džananović, a former SDA party member and manager of Elektroprivreda BiH, to carry out the illegal employment.

On 16 March 2017, the Cantonal Prosecutor’s Office in Sarajevo filed an indictment against the defendants, which was confirmed by the Municipal Court. They are accused of various criminal offences, including trading in influence and abuse of position of authority. According to the indictment. their benefits ranged from KM16,000 (around €8,200) to KM19,000 (€9,700).

The case of former director general of the Banovići mine and member of parliament Mirsad Kukić was separated from the others due to health concerns. Kukić’s case was tried separately. On 22 October 2020, the Municipal Court in Sarajevo sentenced him to one year in prison for receiving a reward for trading influence in Elektroprivreda BiH. Seid Fazlagić had previously reached a plea agreement, whereas the trial for Zukić, Sarajlic and others is ongoing (see here). Due to the corruption charges, the US State Department has announced that Zukić is undesirable in the United States.