US Takes Action Against Bosnia and Herzegovina Officials

U.S. Government Takes Action Against Current and Former Bosnia and Herzegovina Officials Due to Involvement in Significant Corruption and Destabilizing Activities

Washington, DC (STL.News) Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken released the following statement:

The Department of State is publicly designating former Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) President Milan Tegeltija and the President of the Movement for Democratic Action (PDA) and Parliamentary Assembly Representative Mirsad Kukic due to their involvement in significant corruption.  These designations render Tegeltija and Kukic ineligible for entry into the United States.  Their actions undermined the rule of law, the public’s faith in their government’s democratic institutions and public processes, and peace and prosperity for BiH’s citizens.  The designations of Kukic and Tegeltija are made under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2021.

In his official capacity as HJPC President, Tegeltija was involved in corrupt acts that included using his political influence and official power for his personal benefit.  Specifically, there is credible information that Tegeltija used his position to solicit a benefit in return for interfering in a judicial process as well as manipulating judicial appointments and other public employment.

In his official capacity as a manager of the publicly owned Banovici mine and as a Parliamentary Assembly Representative, Kukic was involved in corrupt acts that used his political influence and official power for his personal benefit.  Specifically, there is credible information Kukic misappropriated public funds for personal benefit and interfered in hiring and appointment decisions to benefit himself politically.

In addition to Tegeltija and Kukic, the Department of State is designating Tegeltija’s spouse, Tijana Tegeltija, pursuant to Section 7031(c).  This action also renders her ineligible for entry into the United States.

In addition, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has imposed economic sanctions pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14033 on Milorad Dodik (Dodik), a member of the BiH Presidency, and the designation of a media outlet under his control, Alternativna Televizija (ATV).  As a result of today’s action under E.O. 14033, all property and interests in property of those sanctioned that are in or come within the United States or that are in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC.

Together, these designations reaffirm the U.S. commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of BiH, the rule of law and democratic institutions, and a better future for BiH’s citizens.  Other leaders and entities linked to corrupt or destabilizing actors may also be subject to future actions by the U.S. Government.  We will continue to use appropriate authorities to promote accountability for actors across the region and globally.