FBiH’s Hećo in Elections Probe

Subject of CIN story now being investigated by BiH election commission for possible conflict of interest.

Vahid Hećo, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) minister of Energy, Industry and Mining, is under investigation by the BiH Election Commission (CIK) for a possible conflict of interest involving his ownership and his wife’s ownership of Gas&Metal d.o.o. in Visoko, a CIK spokesperson confirmed today.

Hećo has owned at least a 90 percent stake in the company for years and retained it although his wife, Sabina, took over as director when he was named to his minister’s job, according to records.

BiH section of Transparency International (TI), an international non-government organization dedicated to fighting corruption, filed a complaint with CIK about a possible conflict of interest, because elected officials and executive office holders are not supposed to use their position for personal gain or for the gain of someone related to them.

TI Complaint, CIN Story Come on Same Day

TI filed its complaint, according to records, on the same day that the Center for Investigative Reporting in Sarajevo (CIN) published a story about Hećo’s company and three binding verdicts against it that had been ignored for years.

CIK spokeswoman Maksida Bajramović said the commission is reviewing the merits of every complaint as part of its standard procedure to determine if it will proceed with a complaint. They would not discuss details of the investigation.

If it turns out that the company had done business with FBiH agencies, Hećo could face a fine of between 1,000 KM and 10,000 KM, according to the law.

The CIN story focused on Gas&Metal, which reporters found had ignored two court rulings to pay almost 68.000 KM in payments and penalties to Visoko-based Bosnagraf, and another to remove its property from the premises of another piece of land used by another company, EkoPanda. Ignoring court orders is illegal in BiH.

Ivana Korajlić, TI spokesperson said they are currently focused on proving conflict of interest and are waiting for response from the election commission. After that, they will probably consider CIN findings.