Osman Mehmedagic, director of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Intelligence and Security Agency, also known as OSA, was arrested recently on suspicion of abuse of power. Charges against Mehmedagic by the country’s interior ministry include document forgery and money laundering, according to a report from the Balkan Insight website.
The investigation has been transferred to the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina which coordinates the investigation of the police on the ground. The prosecution and police did not provide further details on the investigation, but the state attorney’s office previously confirmed that it had carried out an investigation in several cities across the country to find documents and evidence against the senior official.
He is under investigation for allegedly graduating from the American University of Tuzla in exchange for payment, acquiring real estate on favorable terms with laundered funds, etc. Denis Prcic, director of the American University of Tuzla, said he was under pressure to cancel Mehmedagic’s degree.
This is not the first time that the head of the intelligence agency has come under investigation for alleged abuse of his authority. In 2020, Mehmedagic, Minister of State Security Selmo Cikotic and a senior OSA officer were charged with abuse of office and authority, but the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina rejected the act of ‘charge.
One of the main problems in the functioning of intelligence agencies is to restrict their power. These organizations and those who run them have tremendous power that allows them to do almost anything they want. Without supervision or internal and external inspection, incidents like the above will continue to occur.
Intelligence organizations must operate under oversight mechanisms, values and ethics that prevent the abuse of authority and power by those holding positions in the organizations.