SARAJEVO (Reuters) - Bosnia’s national security chief has been indicted on charges that he failed to subdue widespread civil unrest in February, Bosnia’s state court said on Monday, an outbreak of violence that was the worst since the country’s 1992-95 war.
The court said Goran Zubac, head of the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA), was accused of ignoring calls from the top police body to deploy his forces during disturbances that broke out over endemic corruption and unemployment.
Protesters set fire to government buildings in several towns, including the capital Sarajevo. Hundreds of police officers were injured.
The unrest occurred mainly within the territory of Bosnia’s Federation, comprising mainly Croats and Muslim Bosniaks. Serbs have their own autonomous republic within Bosnia. Zubac is a Bosnian Serb.
“Through a conscious violation of law and other regulations, Goran Zubac has apparently failed to act with commitment in performing his duty as an official of the Bosnia-Herzegovina institutions,” the court said in a statement.
There was no immediate response from Zubac, who has indicated previously that the unrest fell under the jurisdiction of the regional police rather than his state-wide agency.
The dispute highlights the confusion and complexity of Bosnia’s highly-decentralised system of government since the war, in which power is divvied up along ethnic lines.
Serb Republic leader Milorad Dodik has described the case as “political retribution against Serb cadres.”
(1$=1.439 Bosnian marka)
Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Matt Robinson/Mark Heinrich