November 30, 2023 1:34 am

The trial of Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik, scheduled to begin on Wednesday for non-implementation of High Representative Christian Schmidt’s decisions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, has been postponed until December 6. This was confirmed by the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Tuesday. The court accepted Milorad Dodik’s explanation that he had a scheduled trip to Hungary and received an invitation before the original hearing date of November 22.

If convicted, both Dodik and another official, Nedeljko Lukić, could face a potential sentence ranging from six months to five years in prison, as well as an automatic ban on holding their positions. The changes to the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina under which they will be tried were imposed by Schmidt in July, at the same time he put out of force the laws that Republika Srpska had tried to block, as well as the judgment of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Nedeljko Lukić published the changes in the Official Gazette of the entity, meaning both officials broke the law. At the preliminary hearing at the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, both Dodik and Lukić pleaded not guilty and argued that Schmidt is not a legitimately elected high representative, even though he was elected according to prescribed procedure. Therefore, they claim that he could not have imposed changes to the criminal code.

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