Bosnian minister faces corruption charges over arms sale

SARAJEVO – The highest court in Bosnia and Herzegovina has upheld the indictment of the Balkan country’s security minister, accused of abusing his official position regarding the illegal sale of arms and military equipment there was ten years old when he held the post of Minister of Defense.

The court on December 8 confirmed the indictment against Selmo Cikotic, accusing him of depriving the state of approximately 9.7 million marks ($ 5.6 million) from 2009 to 2011 by illegally changing the terms of a contract sale of surplus arms, ammunition and military equipment to favor the buyer, a Croatian company.

The indictment stated that Cikotic had done so without informing his deputies or members of the Bosnian tripartite presidency, and in violation of due process.

Cikotic was Minister of Defense from 2006 to 2012 and became Minister of Security last year.

Investigations often take years in a corrupt and ethnically divided Bosnia, still struggling to recover from a devastating war in 1992-95.

More than 100,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which ended in a US-brokered deal that divided the country and its administration largely along ethnic lines between Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats .

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