Court of BiH sentenced Two Persons over Terrorism Plotting in East Sarajevo and Tuzla

On 4 July 2019, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina announced a judgment in the case of Maksim Božić et al. finding the accused Maksim Božić and Edin Hastor guilty of committing the criminal offense of Terrorism under Article 201(4), in connection with Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina (CC BiH), all as read with Article 29 of the CC BiH. The Court sentenced the accused Maksim Božić to imprisonment for a term of 4 (four) years, and the accused Edin Hastor to imprisonment for a term of 2 (two) years and 6 (six) months. The time the two accused spent in custody, running from the day when they were arrested on 10 April 2018, shall be credited towards the imposed prison sentences.

The accused Maksim Božić was found guilty because, during the period between mid-June 2017 and 10 April 2018, he made plans and preparations to obtain funds and undertook other actions to create preconditions for the commission of an act of terrorism, with the aim of intimidating the population and forcing the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to perform certain actions in order to seriously destabilize political and constitutional structures in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Maksim Božić repeatedly made contacts with members of the radical Salafi movement in BiH, including Edin Hastor, with whom he planned and undertook actions to create preconditions to commit an act of terrorism by trying to raise funds and purchase more deadly weapons, namely the RPG, machine-gun M84, hand grenades, ammunition and shells in order to launch an attack on the building of the State Investigation and Protection Agency of BiH (SIPA) located in Istočno Sarajevo and the building of the Ministry of Interior of the Tuzla Canton (MoI TC).

In order to commit the planned act of terrorism, in mid-June 2017, and after obtaining the weapons for the commission of the planned terrorist act, Maksim Božić requested the protected witness “A” to record for him a video-testament concerning a death in jihad and publish it in media following the act commission. For the referenced purpose, in March 2018, being aware that Maksim Božić was planning to commit an act of terrorism, namely to attack the SIPA building in Istočno Sarajevo and the building of the MoI TC, Edin Hastor provided the premises of his own family house for the storage of unlawfully obtained weapons, lethal devices, ammunition and military equipment for the purpose of commission of an act of terrorism, in which they were prevented by SIPA official persons, who have seized all the referenced weapons, lethal devices, ammunition and military equipment during a search conducted.

In addition, the Court issued a decision extending custody of the accused Maksim Božić for further nine (9) months due to the existing custody grounds set forth in Article 132(1)c) of the Criminal Procedure Code of BiH (CPC BiH), that is, due to a risk that he will repeat or complete the attempted criminal offense. Pursuant to the referenced decision, custody can last no longer than 4 April 2020 or until the committal of the accused to serve the imposed prison sentence.

Custody of the accused Edin Hastor was terminated and the accused will be released after handing over to the Court his valid travel documents, or a certificate issued by the competent authority confirming that the referenced documents are not in the accused’s possession. In addition, the prohibiting measure of ban on travel under Article 126(2) of the CPC BiH was imposed on the accused Edin Hastor. The imposed measure may remain in force as long as necessary, but no longer than the accused’s committal to serve the imposed prison sentence. The justifiability of the imposed measure shall be reviewed upon expiration of every 2 (two)-month period.

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