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Bosnian Minister Faces Corruption Charges Over Weapons Sale

Selmo Cikotic served as defense minister from 2006 to 2012.
Selmo Cikotic served as defense minister from 2006 to 2012.

SARAJEVO -- Bosnia-Herzegovina's top court has confirmed the indictment of the Balkan country's security minister, who is accused of abusing his official position over the irregular sale of weapons and military equipment a decade ago when he held the post of defense minister.

The court on December 8 confirmed the indictment against Selmo Cikotic, charging him of depriving the state of about 9.7 million marks ($5.6 million) from 2009 to 2011 by unlawfully changing the terms of a contract for the sale of surplus outdated weapons, ammunition, and military equipment in order to favor the buyer, a Croatian company.

The indictment said Cikotic had done so without informing his deputies or members of Bosnia's tripartite presidency, and in breach of the legal procedure.

Cikotic was defense minister from 2006 to 2012, and became security minister last year.

Investigations often take years in corruption-plagued and ethnically divided Bosnia, which is still struggling to recover from a devastating war in 1992-95.

More than 100,000 people were killed in the conflict, which ended with a U.S.-brokered agreement that divided the country and its administration largely along ethnic lines among Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats.

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