By failing to fulfil their legally prescribed obligations, responsible individuals in the Supreme Court, Court Police, and Ministry of Justice have damaged the budget of Republika Srpska by at least 5,000,000 marks. At the same time, the employment of individuals in the court police who have not completed adequate, prescribed training has led to unforeseen consequences, including a murder for which a court police officer, who was employed without prior completion of the legally prescribed training, is being charged.
These allegations are stated in the criminal complaint filed by the court police officers against Vesna Antonić, former president of the Supreme Court, Željko Dragojević, director of the court police, Slobodan Zec, assistant minister of justice, and other individuals.
The key allegations from the criminal complaint have been largely confirmed by the Supreme Court of Republika Srpska, admitting, among other things, that they do not know what training the court police officer, who is accused of murder, has undergone, nor how the compensation for non-material damages to the family of the victim was paid, even though the process has not yet been legally concluded. The Supreme Court also does not know when the acts will be issued, the lack of which has caused millions of damages to the budget of Republika Srpska.
Who pays for the fuel?
According to the allegations in the criminal complaint, the former president of the Supreme Court and the director of the court police have caused damage to the budget by not issuing a special instructional act and invoice form necessary for the reimbursement of costs related to bringing individuals to court proceedings.
As a result, the district centres of the court police have been unable to invoice their expenses for years, and as a result, the court cannot include these costs in the proceedings. The acts are non-existent, and the Supreme Court does not know when they will be issued.
“In relation to the reimbursement of costs related to bringing individuals to court proceedings, we inform you that activities are underway regarding the issuance of instructional acts to regulate the issue of cost reimbursement during the process of bringing individuals to court proceedings”, says the Supreme Court of Republika Srpska.
The mentioned acts, therefore, do not exist. The implications of this are explained in the attachments to the aforementioned criminal complaint.
The Law on Criminal Procedure of Republika Srpska stipulates that the costs of criminal proceedings include expenses for bringing the accused or detained individuals. The Government Regulation on Costs Reimbursement in Criminal Proceedings specifies that the costs of bringing the suspect, accused, or individuals who did not respond to the court summons include expenses equivalent to 20% of the price of one litre of gasoline per kilometre travelled.
The court police in Republika Srpska annually cover approximately 800,000 kilometres and execute around 7,000 orders. The average distance travelled per person, as stated by the complainants in the criminal complaint, is about 90 kilometres. If we assume that the price of gasoline is 2.5 marks, it is easy to calculate the extent of the unpaid costs.
“On the question of why they don’t do it, the answer is that they don’t care, that it is unnecessary, and despite being repeatedly warned by subordinates that the costs of bringing/conducting individuals and other official actions of the court police must be invoiced in accordance with the law, regulation, and other acts and that they should provide instructions and forms to the organizational units because all forms and other acts are prescribed and issued by the administration of the court police, which the accused have never done”, state the complainants. They claim that the budget has also been damaged by the way compensation was provided to the family of Milomir Jeftić, for whose murder a court police officer was accused.
Crime by negligence?!
Milomir Jeftić from Vlasenica, a fifty-year-old father of three, tragically lost his life on May 15, 2019, while leaving the Basic Court in Vlasenica. A young court police officer named Mladen Deurić was deprived of his freedom due to suspicion of committing the murder. Deurić, who had only been in service for three months, is accused of fatally injuring Jeftić through the accidental mishandling of a weapon, resulting in immediate death.
Deurić was employed, as claimed by the court police officers behind the aforementioned criminal complaint, without completing adequate, prescribed training, including the part of the training related to the handling of firearms.
Shortly after this incident, the family of the deceased filed a request for compensation for non-material damages in the amount of 700,000 marks. However, a year later, an agreement was reached whereby, according to the criminal complaint, the family was paid 100,000 marks. The payment was made in 2020 by the Ministry of Finance of Republika Srpska with the consent of the Ministry of Justice of Republika Srpska. Through a notarized contract, Republika Srpska also undertakes to provide scholarships for the children of the deceased as long as their education lasts, until the age of 26.
In the same year, on March 24th, a job vacancy for the position of “administrative officer” in the court police in Zvornik was published in “Glas Srpske” newspaper. Nataša Petrović, the wife of the late Milomir Jeftić, was employed in this position on May 1st, 2020.
It is stated that she obtained the job and received compensation, but in a slightly larger amount, as confirmed by her in a statement to “Impuls” news outlet.
“It’s not a hundred thousand, but a hundred and twenty thousand. Eighty thousand was allocated to me and the children, while the remainder was given to my father-in-law and mother-in-law. Yes, I did get the job”, she briefly replied.
“It is completely undisputed that the victims must be compensated, but this should be done after the event is fully addressed in prosecutorial and judicial proceedings, which is far from being the case, and the accused took advantage of the victims’ difficult socio-economic situation, waiting for time to pass. Contrary to regulations, they engaged in negotiations with the wife more than a year after the murder, gradually reducing the compensation amount until an agreement was reached and notarized”, state the court police officers (names known to the editorial team).
The fact that Deurić has not been finally convicted even after four years has been confirmed to us by the District Prosecutor’s Office in Istočno Sarajevo.
“The case is currently in the trial phase before the Basic Court in Sokolac, and for all information regarding the progress of the trial, you can contact the Basic Court in Sokolac”, confirmed the prosecutor’s office, which filed charges against Mladen Deurić on June 29, 2019.
The complainants hold the responsible authorities accountable not only for the manner of compensation but also for providing a firearm to an untrained individual who killed an innocent person.
They specifically accused the former president of the Supreme Court and the assistant minister of justice. In the criminal complaint, they allege that these individuals, without legal authorization, facilitated the hiring of untrained individuals into the ranks of the court police and allowed them to handle firearms, as in the case of Mladen Deurić.
According to the allegations, Deurić is one of the dozens of employees in the court police who did not meet the prescribed requirements for the job.
The requirements are specified by the Law on Court Police and the Law on Weapons and Ammunition of Republika Srpska. The law clearly stipulates training lasting three to six weeks at a designated police education institution. The only such institution in Republika Srpska is the Police Training Administration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
However, according to our sources, the practice was different. Instead of the prescribed training, courses lasting three to four days were organized within the Supreme Court. One such course, they claim, was organized from March 11 to 15, 2019.
The Supreme Court of Republika Srpska, however, denies these claims and asserts that training is conducted in accordance with the law and lasts for six months.
However, they were not certain whether Deurić had undergone the prescribed training.
“Regarding the matter of judicial police officer Mladen Deurić, we inform you that we currently do not have any information regarding the same”, was the response to our question.
Inspectors from the Vlasenica Police Station, who conducted the investigation of the murder, also noted that Deurić had not completed adequate training. At least, that is what is claimed in the aforementioned criminal complaint.
Our sources assert that certain certificates were issued for these mentioned short-term training, which are not in accordance with the law. They will submit these as evidence in the court proceedings against the top officials of the Supreme Court and Judicial Police of Republika Srpska, if and when the trial takes place. Currently, the “complaint is under review by the prosecuting attorney in charge, who will verify the allegations in the complaint”, as confirmed by the Republika Srpska Public Prosecutor’s Office.