International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Dodik disapproves of replacement of judge in his trial, calls it a ‘political process’

February 5, 2024

Milorad Dodik, the President of Republika Srpska entity, who is in trial before the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina for non-compliance with decisions of High Representative Christian Schmidt, called it a “political process,” which is not led by the Court of BiH “but someone else.” Dodik and his associates expressed discontentment over the replacement of judge in this case, one of them saying this is "the end of Bosnia and Herzegovina."

Following the hearing on Monday, Dodik commented on the replacement of judge in this case, after Mirsad Strika decided to withdraw and the trial was taken over by Sena Uzunovic.

“It's impossible that we were not informed about it. She obviously came here with a task and with answers to all questions written in advance,” Dodik told reporters in Sarajevo.

Initially, Dodik's defence asked that Strika is exempted as well as seven other judges of this court but the request was rejected. Strika then voluntarily decided to withdraw and retire.

The Serb politician reiterated that the trial against him is a “political process,” led by “someone else” and not the Court of BiH.

Now that the trial of him and the acting director of Republika Srpska Official Gazette Milos Lukic over the same matter have been separated, Dodik deems that such circumstances required a new indictment.

“This is completely humiliating, not for me personally, because I will find a way to get out of this in a dignified manner. This is humiliating for the law,” he said.

Dodik disapproved of the fact that the new judge in his case is also a Bosniak and who was engaged with the SDA, a dominantly Bosniak political party.

“It is raising a question if only Bosniaks are judges and staff of this court. That woman came instead of the judge and said: I'm in charge here today,” he noted.

The entity President was accompanied upon his arrival with his political party members and associates, including MP Sanja Vulic who drew attention of all the reporters in front of the Court building.

Vulic was unable to join Dodik in the courtroom as she arrived late, which led her to react inappropriately.

Reporters recorded the outraged MP, who was ranting on about the trial, the judiciary, and the state in general.

Viskovic accused judge Uzunovic of being politically active in the SDA bodies and so she could not be in one such case.

“This is the end of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it will be like that, be sure of that,” said Viskovic.

Source:  https://n1info.ba/english/news/dodik-disapproves-of-replacement-of-judge-in-his-trial-calls-it-a-political-process/

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