BiH Ambassador called for consultations over Serbia’s arrest fmr high official

NEWS 13.09.2021 17:02
Source: N1

Bosnia’s Foreign Minister called the Ambassador of BiH to Serbia, Aida Smajic, back to the country for consultations, Minister Bisera Turkovic’s cabinet confirmed for N1 on Monday

In practice, this could mean the possible withdrawal of the BiH Ambassador from Belgrade. Ambassador Smajic was invited to consultations on the occasion of Sunday’s arrest of the former high-ranking official of the Federation (FBiH) entity Police Administration, Edin Vranj, on the border between Bosnia and neighbouring Serbia.

Ambassador Smajic told N1 Monday morning that Edin Vranj was transferred to the detention unit of the War Crimes Department in Belgrade.

The ambassador requested that they visit him as well as a meeting with the acting prosecutor, but they said they are awaiting a response.

BiH Justice Ministry was never informed of the arrest

Bosnia’s Justice Minister Josip Grubesa confirmed that his Ministry had not received any official notification about the arrest of Edin Vranj, and that he knew nothing more than what he read in the media.

“If this happens, then we have to see in what way and how are they charging him, whether as their own citizen, because we don’t know if he has the citizenship of the Republic of Serbia. In that case, we should see the further procedure, I also read in the media that there are some cases in the judiciary of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and we need to see if we are interested in continuing to process, or lead that case, so that parts of the charges from Serbia be ceded to BiH,” Grubesa said.

When asked if there are agreements with Serbia that would define what this would look like, he states that “there are some agreements, but that the issue of war crimes is very sensitive and very difficult, especially with the Republic of Serbia.”

Speaking whether he would address Serbia over this case he said that “the practice was not such that, based on newspaper articles, we asked neighbouring countries to ‘explain themselves’ to us, so to speak. Of course, the Ministry can talk informally with our colleagues in other countries, and it’s not a problem for me to contact the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Serbia, but I do not know what I will achieve with that.”