The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovine (BiH) accepted a plea bargain between The BiH Prosecutor’s Office with the defense of Aris Mašić, while it threw out the plea agreement reached with the defense of Ibrahim Hodžić. The two of them are defendants in the case against Ramo Brkić and his co-conspirators who are charged with numerous counts including narcotics trade and abuse of office and authority.
Mašić was sentenced to a one year probation for illegal interceding that will not be executed if he does not commit a new crime within two years. While in the role of an activist of the Party of Democratic Action following Brkić’s instructions he blackmailed one of Police Services Board members to vote for Brkić.
The court threw out a plea bargain with Hodžić, a former head of the Una Sana Canton’s Traffic Control Unit. The agreement arragnged that Hodžić would receive a five-and-half month prison sentence because he aubsed his office when he soliceted a bribe from one of the traffic offenders.
Before the hearing, the BiH Prosecutor’s Office changed its stance by dropping bribery charges and sticking with the charges of illicit gain. Prosecutor Oleg Čavka said that proving the bribery would be quite risky. However, judge Hasija Mašović said that a prison sentence of five and half months was not sufficient ordered the new agreement to be ironed out and presented at the hearing scheduled for Oct. 4.
Even though both Hodžić and Mašić were indicted in the case Ramo Brkić et all, they will be sentenced separately following their plea bargains. Another eight persons pleaded guilty in a plea bargain pending approval by the Court of BiH.
Lawyer Refik Arnautović representing defendant Enes Selimović told the reporters from the Center for Investigative Reporting that the plea bargain agreements were also reached with his defendant and another defendant Emir Selimović. Their case will be split from the main case at the hearing scheduled for Oct. 3.
Enes Selimović is indicted on charges of illegal interceding with regard to hiring of the candidates that he favorized for Una Sana Cantonal police. Selimović is a former chief of Bihać Police Station and a member of the Police Service Board. The BiH Prosecutor’s Office also charged him with the abuse of office and soliciting bribes for hiring police officers and soliciting bribes from traffic offenders.
The indictment against Brkić and another 22 police officers, civil servants and other individuals was filed in the beggining of the year, while the trial started in April.