26.05.2023. / 14:14
SARAJEVO – The Appellate Panel of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina issued the final verdict today, sentencing Kemal Čaušević, former director of the Indirect Taxation Authority (ITA) of BiH, to five and a half years.
His earlier sentence was also “cut” to that amount, after the sentence by which he was previously sentenced to nine years was commuted.
Today’s verdict confiscates his property worth 1.7 million KM, but he is acquitted of money laundering charges.
The pronouncement of the second-instance verdict is the epilogue of the renewed trial and closing arguments in which the Prosecution requested that Čaušević be found guilty and that his illegally acquired property be confiscated, while the defense stated that the allegations in the indictment were not proven and requested an acquittal.
The trial of the former director of the ITA of BiH began in July 2017. In May 2021, the Court handed down a first-instance verdict by which he was sentenced to nine years in prison for receiving gifts and other forms of benefits, and money laundering.
In that verdict, it was stated that in May 2007, Čaušević contacted textile importers Sedinet Karić and Anes Sadiković, and promised them a privileged status during import in the form of a reduction in the amount for customs clearance, without detailed inspections and recognition of invoices with incorrect information, asking to give him 1,000 KM per imported truck in return, to which the two agreed and gave him money in Sarajevo and Banja Luka.
In that judgment, it is stated that Čaušević received no less than 1.7 million KM from 2007 to February 2011, of which Sadiković gave 1,297,000 KM, and Karić about 425,000 KM.
Along with Čaušević, Karić and Sadiković are accused in this case. Sadiković was sentenced to two years in prison for giving a gift when importing textiles, while Karić was sentenced to one year in prison at the very beginning of the proceedings for giving a gift and other forms of benefit, according to a plea agreement concluded with the Prosecutor’s Office.
However, in October of last year, the Appellate Council overturned part of the verdict in which Čaušević was declared guilty of money laundering and in which he was deprived of his illegally obtained property benefit, reducing his sentence from nine years to five and a half years in prison.
After the annulment of part of the verdict, Čaušević’s wife was also included in the proceedings based on legal provisions which provide that, when confiscating the property benefit obtained by a criminal act, the person to whom the property benefit was transferred is called for a search.
Čaušević was arrested in June 2014 together with 53 other people in the operation “Pandora”. Among those arrested were workers of the ITA and customs terminals. Sadiković surrendered the day after. Independent newspaper.
Source: Capital.ba – Informacija je capital by www.capital.ba.
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