Police from the Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency on Monday arrested Radoncic, a tycoon who leads the Alliance for a Better Future of Bosnia and Herzegovina, SBBBiH party.
According to a statement from the Bosnian prosecution, Radoncic was arrested in Sarajevo for allegedly “interfering with the work of the judiciary”.
Sources in the Bosnian prosecution told BIRN that Radoncic is suspected of pressurising witnesses, but declined to say in which case.
“Together with the arrest, the Bosnian court ordered raids at several locations,” the prosecution said.
According to Sarajevo-based website Klix, police have raided the premises of Dnevni Avaz, the newspaper owned by Radoncic.
The SBBBiH condemned the arrest of its leader, saying it represented “the abuse of the rule of law by some individuals from the prosecution’s mafia”.
“The arrest of Radoncic is an unprecedented attempt to eliminate a political opponent from the family and criminal clans and criminal centers of power,” the party said in a statement.
“We are convinced that Fahrudin Radoncic is innocent and that this is just a political fabrication aimed at the destabilisation of the Bosniak political bloc and the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” it added.
The editorial board of Dnevni Avaz also released a statement calling the raid on its premises “a brutal attack on media freedom”.
Two weeks ago, the Bosnian prosecution ordered the arrest of another politician from the SBBBiH, Bakir Dautbasic on suspicion of influencing the deposition of a Bosnian citizen, Azra Saric, during the drug-trafficking and murder trial of alleged drugs baron in Naser Kelmendi in Pristina.
Dautbasic is suspected of intervening to protect Kelmendi and Radoncic, and has been remanded in custody.
Radoncic has dismissed claims that he was implicated in the Kelmendi case as “political fabrication”.
Radoncic’s arrest is likely to have a major political impact on both the Council of Ministers and the government of the country’s Federation entity, in which SBBBiH is a coalition partner together with the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) and the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZBiH).
After Dautbasic’s arrest, SDA leader and Bosniak presidency member Bakir Izetbegovic declared that “[our party] will remain in coalition with the SBBBiH”.
Source: Balkan Insight