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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Bosnia’s intelligence chief arrested over forged diploma accusations

Bosnian police on Wednesday arrested the country’s intelligence chief on accusations of money laundering and abusing his office to forge university diplomas, police and prosecutors said.

Osman Mehmedagic, the head of the Intelligence-Security Agency (OSA), was arrested at the request of state prosecutors and police were conducting activities accordingly, Sarajevo police spokesman Mirza Hadziabdic told Reuters.

The prosecutors’ office said in a statement it was investigating Mehmedagic for the criminal acts of abuse of office or authority, of forging the documents and money laundering.

It said that more information would be available later on Wednesday.

Corruption is widespread in Bosnia, ethnically divided after the bloody breakup of Yugoslavia in the Balkan wars of the 1990s, infiltrating all spheres of life, including the judiciary, education and health.

Last month, police arrested the director of the American University in Sarajevo and Tuzla and two associates for reportedly illegally issuing a diploma to Mehmedagic.

In October, Mehmedagic and an associate were charged with abuse of office for allegedly using agency resources to spy on a man who filed a criminal complaint against him but the court acquitted them of the charges. Prosecutors appealed.

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