Judge to Consider Plea of SIPA Agent

A judge may rule as early as today on a plea bargan in the case of a police inspector who allegedly caused a car accident that killed a Prijedor woman and injured five others.

Judge Aida Smajiš of the Basic Court in Zenica will consider a deal between the prosecutor’s office of Zenica-Doboj Canton (ZDK) and Njegoš Poljaković, a police inspector from the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA).

The prosecutor’s office in ZDK indicted Poljaković for an accident in July of last year near Janjići near Zenica that killed Amela Zahić, 22. According to witnesses, Poljaković’s official SIPA vehicle passed a line of cars and swerved at the last minute to avoid an oncoming car. Poljaković’s car clipped the oncoming car, which lost control and hit the car Zahić was riding. Three people were permanently disabled. Poljaković left the scene of the accident, witnesses say.

After the judge confirmed the indictment, Poljaković suggested a deal with prosecutors in return for a guilty plea.

Family members complained that the case has taken almost a year to get to this point whereas the law requires cases to be finished in six months. Some of those involved say they have been contacted by Poljaković’s SIPA commander Relja Kovač, who was acting as a mediator to arrange meetings with Poljaković.

‘With a heavy heart, we agreed to talk. I wanted to see what he was up to one year after the accident’ says Ishak Zahić, the father of Amela.

Poljaković told Zahić that he will plead guilty and asked that he not pursue other charges or claims against him.

Almir Nezirević, a carpenter who suffered a broken knee, told the Center for Investigative Reporting in Sarajevo (CIN) that Poljaković contacted him, but that he did not want to talk.

‘It is strange that someone contacts you a year after the accident. Maybe he wanted forgiveness in order to get a milder sentence. We won’t give up. We submitted a court request for compensation’ says Nezirević, who says he can no longer do carpentry.

The internal affairs department in SIPA also started an investigation into Poljaković. Poljaković has been suspended and further measures against him will depend on the court decision today, SIPA said in a fax to CIN.

Poljaković faces the possibility of one to eight years in prison. Attorney Srećko Kitić, who represents one of the victims, thinks that the verdict will be about four years.