Indictments Issued in Sarajevo by Former IJET Fellow Tackle Corruption

International Justice Sector Education and Training fellow, Sanin Bogunic (left), presents final change plan to help improve the prosecution of economic crimes and corruption in the Bosnia and Herzogovina at ABA ROLI in August 2016. 
In a recent case known as “Pravda" (Justice) in Sarajevo, prosecutors issued indictments against 38 people, including a former minister of interior of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and eight legal entities for misuse of office, organized crime, money laundering, and other corruption related crimes. The lead prosecutor, Sanin Bogunic, chief of the Economic Crime and Corruption Unit of the Sarajevo Canton Prosecutor’s Office was a 2016 fellow in the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative’s (ABA ROLI) International Justice Sector Education and Training Program (IJET). The program introduces strategies and skills for reforms in the justice sector, and Bogunic’s use of an ad hoc task force was a key takeaway from his involvement.

The Pravda indictments allege former Minister of Interior Alija Delimustafic, organized a criminal group that was illegally registering and selling real estate located in Sarajevo from 2009-16. This criminal group registered real estate of deceased individuals to members of their own group through court proceedings led by Judge Lejla Fazlagic-Pasic, who allegedly knew the fraudulent nature of the transactions. Once registered to the group, these properties were then sold to third parties. The accused allegedly made a profit of more than 10 million BAM (over 6 million USD) through these criminal acts.

Speaking to representatives of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, which supports IJET, Bogunic emphasized the impact of his participation in the fellowship. IJET employs a tailored curriculum of seminars and trainings, peer-to-peer exchanges, institutional visits, and mentorships to equip justice sector professionals to create sustainable and high impact change in their country’s justice systems.

Through IJET, Bogunic was paired with Alex Rossmiller, an assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Bogunic particularly credits this mentorship for teaching him crucial strategies for the Pravda case. Based on practices he observed in U.S. prosecutors’ offices, Bogunic organized an ad hoc task force with investigators and financial analysts to build his case, and successfully advocated for their involvement in the prosecutor’s office for the duration of the investigation. The investigative agencies working with Bogunic found the approach of using a task force and secondment so valuable that they plan to repeat it in the future. Additionally, Bogunic and his team established standard operating procedures for how to conduct the investigation in the Pravda case, which they plan to replicate in the future.

“Prosecutors seeking to fight corruption face serious challenges and programs such as IJET offer them essential tools needed to successfully investigate and try cases,” said Linda Bishai, ABA ROLI’s director of Research, Evaluation, and Learning. “We are delighted to hear that our fellowship helped Mr. Bogunic do just that in his fight against corruption.”

To learn more about our IJET program, please contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at