“I received the status of a protected whistleblower at the end of 2018, followed by an internal transfer to a job with a lower salary, two disciplinary ones, and now I am being punished for a lower-ranking job for appearing in public,” Emir Mesic told Radio Free Europe.
By the decision of the disciplinary commission of the Indirect Taxation Authority (ITA) of BiH, he was sanctioned for a lower position for a period of 12 months.
The reason, as stated in the decision, made on October 16, was that by making a media appearance for the Balkan Research Network (BIRN), where he “misled the interested public and damaged the reputation of the ITA as the most important financial institution in BiH.”
Mesic told BIRN that he had reported allegations of irregularities in the collection of parking at customs terminals to private companies to the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina, after which he was not questioned for more than a year.
Mesic received the status of “whistleblower” from the Agency for Prevention of Corruption and Coordination of the Fight against Corruption in BiH.
The Indirect Taxation Authority has initiated disciplinary proceedings against him for speaking to BIRN about a report Mesic submitted to the State Prosecutor’s Office about irregularities in the payment of parking at customs terminals to private companies.
”My application referred to those irregularities that occur when renting and contracting these customs terminals, where in an unjustified way the public income goes to the private holders of the terminals. At the end of 2018, a report was submitted to the state prosecutor’s office, they did one part, that is, the Investigation and Protection Agency did one part. That case is now in the Prosecutor’s Office, I expect that it will be realized soon, completed, because I see no reason not to. All material evidence was presented. I have not been officially heard in that sense, except for this hearing which was before the Agency for Investigation and Protection, a couple of months after the report, at the beginning of 2019. I have no official information on whether a case has been formed,” Mesic said.
On the question of wether he expected his allegations to be investigated and not sanctioned, Mesic said that of course he expected the competent institutions, and he expects even today, for someone to establish these facts that he was talking about.
”Because I stand completely behind the fact that it is true, for which I have, of course, material evidence, and I cannot I believe that so much truth is irrelevant in our society. Here, even if it is irrelevant to people who, for example, should not be concerned, I think that the institutions that should be concerned avoid saying that,” Mesic concludes.