State Prosecutor Not Declaring All the Assets

State prosecutor Vedrana Mijović and her husband Danko bought five properties in 13 years, and she has not declared some of them to the HJPC. Even though this institution requires judges and prosecutors to declare their assets, they are not legally bound to do so because for two and a half years there have been no rules on the submission of financial statements.

Vedrana Mijović, prosecutor of the BiH Prosecutor’s Office started her career in the judiciary two decades ago. For the last 13 years, she worked as a cantonal and state prosecutor. As she progressed in her career, she also increased her assets. From 2008 to March 2022, she and her husband Danko bought four apartments and a garage in BiH and Serbia for BAM 366,700, while they inherited land from the family.

In her annual report for 2021, which she submitted to the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) at the end of March 2022, Mijović failed to report that she bought an apartment a month earlier and that she and her husband have a garage and inherited land in Istočno Sarajevo, as well as cars. However, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is not regulated how prosecutors and judges are to report their assets to the HJPC, so it is left to the conscience of the holders of judicial institutions whether or not they will report everything they own.

The Rulebook on the submission, verification, and processing of financial statements of judges and prosecutors adopted by the HJPC in 2018 was repealed in 2020 after the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina established that the HJPC did not have a legal basis for processing the financial statements of judges and prosecutors. The Law on the HJPC has not yet been amended, which is why the Council keeps receiving financial statements of judges and prosecutors every year in accordance with the internal instructions. No one checks these statements, even though it is stated therein that judges and prosecutors could be dismissed from office for providing incorrect information.

Mijović spoke openly about the purchase of real estate with journalists from the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIN), adding that she would add to her financial statement the real estate that she had not declared.

With promotion grew the property

After graduating from the Law School, Mijović worked in the Basic Court in Rogatica as an intern from 2001. After passing the bar exam in 2004, she took up a job as an inspector in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republika Srpska (MUPRS), where she worked for a year.  Her monthly salary in this period was between BAM 320 and 530, and she did not buy real estate at that time.

In 2005, she moved from the Ministry of Internal Affairs to the District Public Prosecutor’s Office in East Sarajevo, where she worked as a professional associate for the next four years. With the new position came a new salary, which ranged up to BAM 1,650, and at this point, she decided to buy her first real estate. In 2008, she bought a 69-square meter apartment in Istočno Sarajevo for BAM 110,000.

In 2009, she was appointed the prosecutor of the Cantonal Prosecutor’s Office in Sarajevo, where she worked until 2013. There, her average salary was BAM 2,600. In an interview with CIN reporters, she said that at that time she handled a large number of cases of robberies, thefts, serious thefts, domestic violence, and fraud.

While working as a cantonal prosecutor, she and her husband Danko bought a 16-square-meter garage in Istočno Sarajevo for BAM 9,700, but she failed to declare it in the financial statement she submitted to the HJPC.

From the Cantonal Office, she moved to the BiH Prosecutor’s Office. First six years she worked as a prosecutor in the Special Department for War Crimes, then in the Department for Corruption until January 2022, when she moved to the Department for Organized Crime, Economic Crime, and Corruption.

While working in the Department for War Crimes, she filed an indictment against Atif Dudaković, former commander of the Fifth Corps of the BiH Army, and 16 other members of that corps for crimes against humanity committed in the territory of Krajina. According to her, this was the most extensive and complex case in her career. In the meantime, MIjović left the Special Department for War Crimes but she is still involved in the case ”Dudaković and others”, which is at the stage of the main trial.

Her work in the Department for Corruption was marked by the indictment she filed against Dragan Mektić, the former Minister of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina, for misuse of European Union donor funds. This case is currently pending appeal. While working in the Department for Corruption, Mijović also received reports against Miro Džakula, director of the Indirect Taxation Administration of BiH (ITA BiH), and Milan Tegeltija, the former president of the HJPC, for falsifying a Law School diploma and a bar exam certificate.

Checking the allegations, Mijović established that the diploma and the bar exam certificate were both credible. This was confirmed to her by the Law School and the RS Ministry of Justice. As the facts of this case did not correspond to the allegations in the report, she dropped the investigation. She could not speak to journalists about the case against the director of the ITABiH because her decision not to conduct an investigation has been appealed.

As she moved up in the organization, her salary grew as well from BAM 4,000 to BAM 5,700, and during this period she bought three apartments.

In 2016, she bought her first property, a 42-square meter apartment, with her father in Zlatibor, Serbia for BAM 103,000. Five years later, she bought her father’s share.  In 2020, Mijović bought another apartment of the same size in the area of Pale for BAM 42,000.

And finally, she bought a 64-square meter apartment in Istočno Sarajevo in February 2022 for BAM 99,000. She has not registered her deed for the last apartment because the bank from which she took a loan did not register the mortgage.

She did not declare this apartment in the financial statement she filed a month later. Also, she failed to declare the 1,600-square meter plot of land in this city that she co-owns with her husband, and which he inherited.

Prosecutor Mijović bought most of the property with loans, which she still repays. Her loan debt amounts to BAM 239,000. She has three loans that need to be repaid in the next ten years. When asked whether she has any savings, Mijović replied: “I can’t make any savings with so many loans.”

She also serves as an educator at the Center for the Education of Judges and Prosecutors of the Federation of BiH (FBiH), a member of the Bar Examination Commission, and a member of another Committee in the Ministry of Justice of the Federation of BiH. Today, Mijović generates an annual income of nearly BAM 80,000 KM from her salary and additional work in commissions/committees. She and her husband have two cars, Golf 1 and Golf 5.

Vedrana Mijović’s profile is part of CIN’s database “Assets of judges and prosecutors”, which contains data on the income and movable and immovable property of judges and prosecutors in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This database also includes information about their education and career, real estate, cars, savings, and loans. Information about lawsuits, court and disciplinary proceedings that have been conducted or are being conducted against judges and prosecutors is also available.