Bosnian Police Chief Faces Suspension for Threatening Journalist

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Source/Author: Balkan Insight/Azem Kurtic

Federation entity Interior Minister demands Zoran Cegar’s ‘urgent’ suspension for threatening ‘to rip journalist’s throat out’.

The Minister of Interior of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Aljosa Campara, on Friday requested the urgent suspension of the head of the Sector of Uniformed Police in the entity, Zoran Cegar.

The request came after Cegar was recorded threatening a journalist from the Bosnian Centre for Investigative Reporting, CIN BiH, saying that he will “rip her throat out”.

He made the alleged threat in Croatia’s coastal town of Dubrovnik, where he is facing trial for fraud and falsification of documents.

Earlier this week, CIN BiH published an article showing Cegar acquired property in Bosnia and Herzegovina illegally. Journalists discovered that in the last 20 years he traded numerous real estate: houses, apartments and land holdings in Bosnia and Croatia, and also possessed numerous cars, boats, motorcycles and snowmobiles. He often traded without money, exchanging his and other people’s real estate and vehicles.

This is not the first time Cegar has threatened CIN journalists. During the investigation, alluding to his position, he said he was “informed by various people” about the whereabouts of various journalists.

If found guilty, Cegar faces up to eight years in prison, which was one reason why Campara sought his suspension. Under Bosnian law, a police officer can be suspended if involved in crimes that can be punished by one to three years in prison.

Campara also asked for his suspension “due to forgery of notarial contracts related to property in Ilijas, as well as due to violent behaviour and threats addressed to female journalists of the Centre for Investigative Reporting.”

The Police Administration of the Federation entity reacted by saying that an internal investigation on these allegations has been launched.

In January, Cagara was recorded beating up a worker at a parking lot in Bosnia’s capital Sarajevo, while wearing an official uniform, but continued working without sanctions.