Esed Radeljaš, a former councillor, canton assembly legislator, minister, as well as a founder of the Party for Better Goražde, was arrested in Sarajevo this morning for mismanagement of government land in the Sarajevo neighbourhood of Nedžarići, according to a press release from the Sarajevo Canton Prosecutor’s Office.
Also arrested were: Nedžad Kapetanović, former public attorney of the Sarajevo Municipality of Novi Grad; Jasmina Horo, a former assistant to the municipality’s mayor and Jusuf Čaušević, the head of the municipal Department of Property Affairs. They were arrested at the request of the Cantonal Prosecutor’s Office in Sarajevo.
Officers of the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA), in coordination with the ministries of internal affairs of Sarajevo Canton and Bosnia-Podrinje Canton, raided buildings at six sites. SIPA stated in a press release that the arrested are suspected of abuse of office or authority, money laundering, giving gifts and providing other benefits.
In 2006, Novi Grad Municipality leased Radeljaš a plot of land for a fee of 51,340 KM. The Center for Investigative Reporting in Sarajevo (CIN) had earlier reported that Radeljaš received the land without a public call for applications for the lease, which is against the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) Law on Development Land. Allegedly, municipal public attorney Kapetanović helped Radeljaš bypass this provision, while Čaušević was in charge of the procedure.
Radeljaš lost the right to the land in 2010, because he failed to honour his obligation to build an office building on it by a set deadline. Radeljaš was at the time a councillor with Novi Grad municipal assembly and he demanded compensation from the Municipality. Compensation was approved by an amount that was 23 larger than what Radeljaš paid for the land. He was paid 1.03 million KM. Čaušević was in charge of this procedure as well, while the municipal public attorney Kapetanović approved the compensation order. A year later, Radeljaš sold his summer house at the Bijambare nature park to Kapetanović for 10,000 KM. Previously, Radeljaš bought the same summer house from Vladimir Špoljarić, a judge at the Cantonal Court in Sarajevo, who was in charge of another previous court case involving Radeljaš.
In this previous case, Špoljarić’s role was to correct a typo in the verdict that listed the defendant’s name as Esad instead of Esed. Even though the FBiH Supreme Court sentenced Radeljaš to a year in prison for fraud in 2005, he never served time because of the typo.
Radeljaš entered politics in 2008 when he won a term in Novi Grad municipal assembly as a candidate of Bosnian Party BOSS. Two years later, he was elected to the Sarajevo Canton Assembly and later became a legislator at the FBiH Parliament’s House of Peoples.
Soon after, he was appointed the president of the Sarajevo Canton Health Insurance Bureau and he got the chance to direct the allocation of over 300 million KM a year that the bureau had at its disposal.
After the general elections in 2014, Radeljaš moved from Sarajevo to Goražde, where he was appointed as Bosnia-Podrinje Canton minister of industry after his Party for Better Goražde was elected to the Assembly. He was impeached from this post of minister last April.
The Radeljaš family owns valuable real estate in Sarajevo, Ustikolina and Foča. Radeljaš acquired some of his assets through fraud of which CIN has already reported about. Because of these frauds, Radeljaš’s former business partners ued him before the Municipal Court in Sarajevo.