Živko Budimir, president of the Federation of BiH, was sentenced to six-month probation for possession of an unauthorized weapon. The sentence will not be executed if he does not commit a new criminal offense within six months.
Judge Sanela Rondić also ordered the confiscation of the gun and ammunition from Budimir who also must pay 100 KM in court costs.
Prosecutor Sanin Bogunić was alone: neither Budimir nor his lawyer Ragib Hadžić appeared in court. Budimir sent in a written explanation of his absence.
During a raid of Budimir’s offices in Sarajevo in April 2013 on unrelated charges, officers from the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) found an unauthorized Czech gun with a bullet in a barrel and six in the case.
The FBiH president was arrested at the time on charges of abuse of office. He was released from detention a month later without formal charge.
The judge said that the defense claimed during the proceedings that the accused had a right to carry a weapon. However, the indisputable fact is that he has never registered the weapon with the relevant police authority. The accused himself said on one occasion that he had never registered the weapon with the authorities.
During the deliberations, the court concluded that the defendant should be punished by warning, because this lighter conviction would still fulfill the aim of punishment. Also, the judge said that there were no aggravating circumstances, while there was a series of mitigating circumstances: he did not have a criminal history; he was a family man and he respected the court during the trial. A mitigating circumstance was also the fact how the defendant came into possession of the weapon – as the reward for going into retirement.
“However, we cannot compare the way in which the defendant came into possession of the controversial pistol with other ways to acquire a controversial gun on black market,” said Rondić.
Both parties may appeal.
An indictment against Budimir was filed in the beginning of June 2013, while the trial began last September.