Recent Bosnian Minister Charged Over Suspected Abuse Of EU Funds

Bosnian prosecutors have announced charges against former State Security Minister Dragan Mektic and three other men in a case in which they are suspected of abusing their office and corruption related to an EU-funded firefighting project.

A spokesman for the Bosnian Prosecutor's Office, Boris Grubesic, told RFE/RL that the four were accused on December 30 of "having committed a crime of high corruption that harms Bosnia-Herzegovina's international reputation."

Grubesic said the case stemmed from alleged irregularities in connection with a roughly $220,000 EU-funded, interstate project on cross-border cooperation in firefighting.

The other accused men are two former aides and the owner of a fire-safety institute.

Mektic was the country's security minister until a week ago, when a 14-month impasse was broken and a new government took office.

He has declared his innocence and said the allegations were a "personal, paranoid" reprisal by the country's prosecutor-general, including for his past accusations of official corruption.

EU delegation officials declined to comment on the case.