Earlier in January, the Department of State publicly designated former Bosnia and Herzegovina High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council President Milan Tegeltija and the President of the Movement for Democratic Action (PDA) and Parliamentary Assembly Representative Mirsad Kukic for 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 the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The designations of Kukic and Tegeltija were made under the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 2021.
There is reason to believe that in his official capacity as High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council President, Tegeltija used his political influence and power to solicit a benefit in return for interfering in a judicial process. In addition, he manipulated judicial appointments and other public positions.
In his official capacity as a manager of the publicly owned Banovici mine Kukic misappropriated public funds for personal benefit and as a Parliamentary Assembly Representative he interfered in hiring and appointment decisions to benefit himself politically.
In addition to Tegeltija and Kukic, the Department of State designated Tegeltija’s spouse, Tijana Tegeltija.
The U.S. government also took action against Milorad Dodik, a member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in response to his corrupt activity and destabilizing actions. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, imposed economic sanctions pursuant to Executive Order 14033 on Dodik, as well as a media outlet under his control. Alternativna Televizija d.o.o. Banja Luka is based in Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, and is privately owned by a company closely linked to Dodik’s family. However, Dodik himself exerts personal control over ATV behind the scenes, such as by requiring personal approval on media stories related to politically sensitive topics.
Together, these designations reaffirm the U.S. commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the rule of law and democratic institutions, and a better future for its citizens. The U.S. government will continue to use all appropriate tools to address corruption and instability in the Balkans. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement, that the U.S. “will continue to use appropriate authorities to promote accountability for actors across the region and globally.”