Bosnia’s Investigative Agency Chief Indicted Over Protests

Goran Zubac, the director of the State Investigative and Protection Agency, was charged with failing to deal with violent unrest during mass protests in Bosnia in February.

The state prosecutor’s office confirmed to Balkan Insight on Friday that an indictment had been issued against Zubac, who is charged with failure to react properly and send special police forces to curb the unrest in February, when many state institutions, including the presidency, were set on fire.

Bosnian politicians meanwhile said that Zubac should be suspended from his post at the State Investigative and Protection Agency (SIPA) because of the charges.

‘SIPA has to react … and decide to suspend Zubac because in the legal circumstances that have arisen following the issue of the indictment, the current director cannot be in that position,’ said Sefik Dzaferovic, a lawmaker in the Bosnian parliament.

The nationwide protests over poverty, corruption and unemployment started in the northern town of Tuzla on February 5, when hundreds of redundant workers from several large companies which had been privatized and shut down took to the streets.

The protests then spread and turned violent, and official buildings were burned in Tuzla, Zenica, Mostar and Sarajevo. Four prime ministers of cantons in Bosnia’s Federation entity subsequently resigned.

Two other men are also being prosecuted on terrorism charges over the unrest. Salem Hatibovic and Nihad Trnka are accused of setting fire to the Bosnian presidency building on February 7.

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