In early April 2023, the State Attorney’s Office in Dubrovnik filed an indictment against Zoran Čegar, the suspended head of the FBiH Uniformed Police Sector for threatening a reporter of the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIN). The indictment was filed with the Municipal Court in Dubrovnik.
Čegar was accused of threatening twice to rip out the reporter’s throat in front of this court. The case was reported to the local police, where a statement was given and a video recording of the event was submitted. The criminal offense of threats, if addressed to a person in connection with his/her work, is punishable by a prison sentence of up to five years.
The threat incident took place in late October 2022, that is, two days after CIN published the story about Čegar’s property. Over the past twenty years of the service, he acquired several houses, apartments, and land holdings in BiH and Croatia, and his property also included several cars, boats, motorcycles, and snowmobiles.
He often traded without money, bartering his property for other people’s real estate and vehicles. Reporters discovered that he acquired part of the property using fictitious contracts and falsified documents. Civil and criminal proceedings were initiated to this end before the competent courts.
Čegar is already on trial for the criminal offense of fraud before the Municipal Court in Dubrovnik.
In 2017, he was accused of defrauding Darko Marković from Mljet, the owner of the company Prožura, from whom he took an E-class Mercedes car and a rubber boat, both the property of the company. Čegar promised to pay him when he sold the land in BiH, although he knew that he was not the owner but only the possessor of the land. As a high-ranking police officer, he did not want his name to be associated with this business transaction, so he promised Marković a reward to keep his name out of the contract.
Under the Criminal Code of the Republic of Croatia, a fraud that incurred material damage such as the one for which Čegar is charged is punishable by a prison sentence of one to eight years.
In the meantime, this case and the threats addressed to CIN reporters had Čegar suspended from the position of a head in the FBiH Police and subject to a disciplinary proceeding, which was suspended until the end of the criminal proceedings.
Under the disciplinary lawsuit, Čegar’s actions were qualified as a serious violation of official duty, i.e. disturbing public order and peace and gross misconduct that damages the reputation of law enforcement.
This is not the first time that Čegar has been reported for misconduct in public.
Early last year, the Sarajevo Canton Ministry of the Interior filed a criminal complaint against Čegar for violent behaviour. He repeatedly hit in the head an employee of the TC Baščaršija Group parking company in Stari Grad who warned the police officers about parking violations. The abusive conduct was also caught on a surveillance camera. The Sarajevo Canton Prosecutor’s Office has not yet rendered a prosecutorial decision in this case.