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Property Holdings of Judges and Prosecutors: Chief Prosecutors of Sarajevo and Zenica Prosecutors’ Offices in CIN’s Database

The „Property Holdings of Judges and Prosecutors“ database is richer by two new property profiles containing the most significant biographical information of Sabina Sarajlija, Chief Prosecutor of the Sarajevo Canton Prosecutor's Office and Vesna Kaknjo, Chief Prosecutor of the Zenica-Doboj Canton Prosecutor's Office.

Sabina Sarajlija, the Chief Prosecutor of the Sarajevo Canton Prosecutor’s Office and her husband own three apartments in Sarajevo and a cottage in Mokro, which she valued at BAM 210,000.

In an interview with CIN reporters, she said they purchased some of their properties, while some were inherited or gifted to them by their parents. The Sarajlija couple managed to save around 68,000 BAM.

Previously, she did not allow the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina (HJPCBiH) to disclose information about her property. The HJPCBiH annually releases financial reports of judges and prosecutors who voluntarily agree to public disclosure of their data. However, after discussions with reporters regarding her property in early May 2023, Sarajlija allowed the HJPCBiH to disclose her financial report.

She began her career as an intern in a law firm and later in the Prosecutor’s Office of the Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Starting from 2005, she worked as an associate for the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina on war-crime cases. Three years later, she was appointed as a prosecutor for the Sarajevo Canton Prosecutor’s Office. During her first year there, she worked on general crimes, and for the following ten years, she was involved in cases related to economic crimes and corruption. In mid-2019, she was appointed the Chief Prosecutor.

Sarajlija faced a disciplinary procedure before the Commission of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council earlier this year and was fined for violating the principle of impartiality. In April 2022, she rendered a decision reassigning ten criminal cases from other prosecutors to a single prosecutor, Aid Hadžismajlović, to increase his quota. According to the complaint, these were the cases that were likely to be completed with the filing of charges. Sarajlija and the Office of the Disciplinary Prosecutor have filed appeals against this judgment.

Her colleague, Vesna Kaknjo, the Chief Prosecutor of the Zenica-Doboj Canton Prosecutor’s Office (ZDK), has never allowed the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) to disclose her financial status, nor has she been willing to discuss it with reporters.

According to land records, Kaknjo and her husband Mustafa own a 63-square-meter apartment in Zenica. They acquired it in 2000 based on tenant’s rights from the Zenica Municipality for 16,477 former German Marks. In the same city, her husband also owns a house with a yard, covering an area of 476 square meters, which he shares with a relative.

Kaknjo began her legal career as an intern at the District Public Prosecutor’s Office in Zenica in 1979. She served as a deputy municipal prosecutor in Zenica and Busovača from 1981 to 1993. Afterward, Kaknjo started her own law firm, where she worked until 2004 when she became a prosecutor at the Zenica-Doboj Canton Prosecutor’s Office. She has held the position of Chief Prosecutor since 2010.

Profiles of Sarajlija and Kaknjo are part of CIN’s „Property Holdings of Judges and Prosecutors“ database, which contains data on the incomes, movable and immovable property of judges and prosecutors in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This database also includes information about their education and careers, real estate, cars, savings, and loans. Information about lawsuits and legal and disciplinary proceedings – completed or ongoing – against judges and prosecutors is also available.

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