The Court of BiH Judge Sentenced to Prison
Judge Azra Miletić was sentenced to 30 months in prison because she took money from defendants prosecuted on organized crime charges.
Justice Azra Miletić (left) sentenced for gift taking. (Photo: CIN)
By The Center for Investigative Reporting
The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) found guilty its judge Azra Miletić for accepting money from defendant Ramo Brkić, a former police commissionaire of Una-Sana Canton, and his co-defendant Senad Šabić. Miletić was the president of the Appeal Panel that deliberated in the case of Brkić and Šabić, charged with the production and trade in drugs, as well as gift giving.
According to the ruling, Šabić offered money to judge Miletić through a protected witness so that he and Brkić could walk free or receive a lenient sentence. Miletić accepted a gift and took at least €3,000.
The go-between has taken a total of € 48,500 from Šabić. He gave the judge a smaller portion of the money, and kept the remainder. Miletić was supposed to pay off an apartment in Tuzla with that money. After the witness started avoiding her, Miletić even called a member of his family and insisted to be given the promised money, according to the ruling.
In 2013, the Court of BiH handed down a sentence of 11 years to Brkić for abuse of office, production and trade in narcotics and gift giving, while Šabić received a sentence of 10 years’ for production and trade in narcotics and gift giving. The appeal panel partially overturned the first-instance verdict and ordered a retrial. Miletić was the president of the Appeal Panel that was going to hear evidence in the new trial.
In February 2015, the new trial was adjourned when Brkić, Šabić and Miletić were arrested. After that, Brkić and Šabić were tried before a new panel which upheld the first-instance court’s sentences.
The Court of BiH sentenced Miletić to 30 months in prison and ordered her to give back € 3,000 she has kept. The ruling also prohibited her from acting in an official capacity for the period of three years.
The ruling acquitted Miletić from charges that during the retrial she knowingly violated the law by not correcting the violations of the first-instance proceedings.
The Prosecutor’s Office and defense council may appeal to the Appeal Panel. After the ruling, the defense announced that it was going to appeal.
High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council in BiH suspended Miletić after the arrest.
Brkić and Šabić should’ve been tried together with Miletić, but they did not respond to the Court’s summons. They have been placed on the Interpol’s arrest warrants.
A documentary produced by the Center for Investigative Reporting in Sarajevo has followed the police operation from its start as well as the subsequent state court proceedings.
Published August 3, 2017.