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Court Acquitted Bičakčić and Branković

Today, the Cantonal Court in Sarajevo acquitted Edhem Bičakčić and Nedžad Branković of charges abuse of office or authority in the case of an apartment purchase in Sarajevo.

Judge Dalida Burzić said that the prosecutors did not base the evidence on primary documents or certified copies which made it inadmissible. The court also did not admit the forensic expertise of the proposed evidence and during the deliberation the justices paid attention to the fact that neither the FBiH Government nor Energoinvest had placed property claims.

The Cantonal Prosecutor’s Office in Sarajevo filed an indictment against Branković and Bičakčić in April 2009. According to the indictment, Bičakčić signed a decision that diverted funds from the 2000 budget even though “it was known to him that the FBiH cabinet has never discussed nor put to vote the decision.”

On May 22, 2000, the two of them concluded an Agreement on the combination of funds between the FBiH government and Energoinvest which Branković represented as the general manager. The agreement made the funds available for purchase of a flat in the Sarajevo neighborhood of Ciglane owned by Nada Ludvig Pećar. The apartment was assessed to 150,000 KM.

Branković saw the apartment earlier and advised Pećar to offer it to the FBiH government for sale. On the same day when the government officials signed the bill of sale with Pećar for the sum of 264,000 KM, Energoinvest wired 150,000 KM, and the government paid the remainder. Branković bought the occupancy rights with certificates worth 900 KM.

Then Cantonal prosecutor Oleg Čavka had filled the indictment against Branković and Bičakčić, but was later appointed to the State Prosecutor’s Office. In an earlier interview for CIN, Čavka said that the indictment was based on a CIN story published in April 2009.

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