Dodik Pardoned No Convict

The RS President Milorad Dodik received 58 petitions for pardoning last year. He pardoned no one.
A 342-square-meter villa in Belgrade that Milorad Dodik paid €850,000 for. Photo by CIN

Milorad Dodik, the president of Republika Srpska (RS), did not pardon a convict according to a Brief on Pardoning Decisions in 2013. The RS National Assembly deputies are going to discuss the brief next week.

Dodik received 58 petitions for pardoning last year. Of these, ten were for the threat to traffic safety and robbery; eight for murder; seven for production and dealing in narcotic drugs; three for causing serious bodily injury; two for the abuse of office and authority and aggravated theft, and one petition for all other crimes including organized crime, rape, pedophilia and loan sharking.

The RS Ministry of Justice’s Pardoning Commission and the court that meted out the verdict gave a positive opinion for three petitions. For other ten petitions, the court gave a positive opinion, while the commission gave a negative opinion, while for the other 45 petitions both the courts and the commission gave negative opinions.

The RS President may pardon convicts fully by forgiving a crime and wiping out the conviction or by reducing the sentence. Also, a pardon can restore the convicts right to take up a previous line of work or reduce the time period before it can return to work.

The RS Law on Pardons stipulates that a president has to inform the RS National Assembly once a year about the pardoning decrees during the previous year. However, the legislators’ opinion has no effect on the president’s pardon.

According to the records from the Official Gazette of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the entity’s president Živko Budimir pardoned at least 11 persons until April 2013. He reduced the sentences of six convicts, while he commuted sentences to probation in four cases and wiped-out a sentence in one.

Budimir was arrested on allegations of abuse of office in the course of pardoning procedure last April. The state prosecutor’s office was in charge of the investigation, but the state court did not approve the indictment. The Court of BiH declared itself incompetent to adjudicate the Budimir case which was transferred to a Cantonal Prosecutor’s Office in Sarajevo last December.

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