Bosnia: former party leader sentenced to 3 years in prison for corruption

SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina (AP) — A Bosnian court on Friday sentenced a former senior ruling party official to three years in prison for corruption, according to Bosnian media.

Amir Zukic, former general secretary of the ruling Bosnian Party of Democratic Action, or SDA, was found guilty of using party ties and bribes in 2016 to secure jobs in public institutions , reported the Klix news portal.

The Sarajevo City Court sentenced four other people to prison terms of up to six years and acquitted two people in the case. The lawsuit was part of Western-backed efforts to curb corruption in the Balkan nation, which is struggling to recover economically from a devastating 1990s ethnic war.

Verdicts can be appealed.

In 2020, the US State Department banned Zukic from entering the United States for his alleged involvement in “significant corruption”. Another official blacklisted by the United States this year, former lawmaker Asim Sarajlic, was acquitted in the trial that ended on Friday, Klix said.

The United States and its Western allies have imposed sanctions on individuals seen as undermining the rule of law and stability in the Balkans.

More than 100,000 people died in the 1992-95 war in Bosnia, which ended with a US-brokered peace agreement. The country remains unstable and ethnically divided, and the West wants to counter Russian efforts to increase its influence in the region.

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