Bosnian and Croatian ministers discuss extradition agreement

Bosnian and Croatian ministers discuss extradition agreement Izvor: N1

Croatian Justice Minister, Drazen Bosnjakovic, met with his Bosnian counterpart Josip Grubesa in Zagreb today to discuss bilateral issues between the two countries in the area of judiciary.

Bosnjakovic had earlier said that the main topic to be discussed at the meeting would be the 2012 bilateral agreement on extraditions, to assess how many extradition requests have been made by both sides and what the results were, and to identify ways to improve the two countries' cooperation in terms of judiciary.

Croatia and Bosnia have signed a bilateral agreement in 2012 which enables the two countries to extradite their own citizens to each other in cases involving serious crime, organised crime, corruption, and money laundering. Croatia also has such agreements with Serbia, Macedonia, and Montenegro.

After the meeting, Bosnjakovic was asked to comment on the case of football boss Zdravko Mamic, who was convicted in a Croatian court last week to six and a half years in prison for syphoning transfer fees from Dinamo Zagreb football club and tax evasion. A dual citizen of Bosnia and Croatia, Mamic had left for the Bosnian town of Medjugorje prior to sentencing.

"We did not meet to discuss the extradition of Zdravko Mamic, but that case is covered by the agreement on the extradition of citizens. An arrest warrant for him has been issued and received by the Bosnian court. After the Justice Ministry receives the documents required we will file an extradition request, and after that the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina will decide on it," Bosnjakovic told reporters after the meeting.

"As for the agreement in general, neither Croatia nor Bosnia and Herzegovina are pleased by it, we have had poor results related to extraditions," Bosnjakovic added.

Bosnia's Justice Minister, Josip Grubesa, announced after the meeting that the two countries will continue cooperating to increase the efficiency of agreements already in place, and as an especially important topic for Bosnia he mentioned the construction of the country's first state-managed prison, to be built in Istocna Ilidza outside capital Sarajevo. Bosnia's prisons are currently operated by authorities on the level of its two semi-autonomous entities.

"We discussed ways in which Croatia might help us in that project," Grubesa said.

He added that another important topic was the issue of state-owned property.

"Croatia recently passed a law on state-owned property, and in Bosnia a view took hold that the law means we will lose our property (in Croatia). But now we received confirmation that the ownership of this property has not been resolved yet. We will continue negotiations to return these properties to their rightful owners," Grubesa said.

The law passed recently by the Croatian Parliament allowed for resorts and other real estate property in Croatia with unclear ownership rights that had once belonged to companies from other countries of the former Yugoslavia to be leased to third parties. Bosnian media speculated that this meant that Bosnian companies could lose ownership of some 200 properties along Croatia's Adriatic coast, estimated to be worth around €2 billion.

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