POLITICS

Former BiH minister sentenced to 12 years in prison for organized crime

Former Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) minister of agriculture Jerko Ivankovic Lijanovic was sentenced on Monday by Court of BiH to 12 years in prison for the alleged organized crime.

Ivankovic Lijanovic is accused of “organized crime, money laundering, tax evasion, non-payment of taxes, counterfeiting or destruction of business books and documents”, an official Court of BiH statement said.

In this case, Court of BiH pronounced a verdict of 52 years in total to Ivankovic Lijanovic and nine other persons.
Ivankovic Lijanovic et al. are charged with having acted as a group from 2007 to 2012, establishing new companies to transfer their raw materials, products and equipment, and continued their business by leaving the acquired multimillion debts to previously established companies. In this way, the group unlawful gained some 13.5 million KM (7.94 million U.S. dollars), the indictment said.

In this way, by tax evasions for several years, the group damaged BiH budget, hence citizens, the indictment said.

During the process, BiH Prosecutors Office examined 40 witnesses and expert witnesses, and 1,000 material evidence.

From 2011 until 2014, Ivankovic Lijanovic was BiH’s Federal Minister of Agriculture, Water Management and Forestry and in 2018 General Elections he was a candidate for BiH Presidency.

After the judgment, Ivankovic Lijanovic said to reporters that he sees this as a political pressure to stall his political engagement.

(Source: Xinhua)

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