New embezzlement charges in Bosnia

New embezzlement charges in Bosnia Sarajevo - Bosnian prosecutors on Friday charged the former prime minister of Federation of Bosnia-Hercegovin, Edhem Bicakcic, and his deputy Dragan Covic, with abuse of power and embezzlement.

The two ex-leaders of the Muslim-Croat entity are charged with illegally using budget funds to buy 22 apartments for political and army officials.

They are also accused of siphoning off money to refurbish 44 other apartments. In all, the total loss to the state was more than 1.8 million euros (2.3 million dollars), according to the charges.

In a separate case last week, Bicakcic and the current prime minister, Nedzad Brankovic, were charged with abuse of power in another apartment scam.

In the Serb entity of Bosnia, Premier Milorad Dodik is under suspicion of embezzling 70 million euros though various construction projects, although no charges have been brought.

The Bosnian Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) in February handed prosecutors a dossier on their months-long investigation into the construction projects in the Serb republic (RS).

Among the sites under inspection was the RS government building in Banjaluka, complete with ashtrays worth 650 euros and 885 euros for rubbish bins, as well as the new RS television building and the highway from Gradiska to Banjakula. (dpa)