Osman Mehmedagic, director of the Intelligence and Security Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, also known as the OSA, was arrested recently following suspicions over abuse of office. The accusations against Mehmedagic by the country's Interior Ministry include forgery of documents and money laundering, according to a report by the Balkan Insight website.
The investigation was transferred to the Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina that is coordinating the police's investigation in the field. The prosecution and the police did not provide more details about the investigation, but the state prosecutor's office previously confirmed that it had carried out an investigation in a number of cities across the country to find documentation and evidence against the senior official.
He is under investigation for allegedly receiving a diploma from the American University in Tuzla in exchange for payment, acquiring real estate under favorable terms with laundered funds, and more. Denis Prcic, director of the American University in Tuzla, said he was being pressured to annul Mehmedagic's diploma.
It is not the first time for the head of the intelligence agency to be investigated over alleged abuse of his authority. In 2020, Mehmedagic, State Security Minister Selmo Cikotic and senior OSA officer were indicted on charges of abusing their office and authority, but the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina rejected the indictment.
One of the main issues in the operation of intelligence agencies is restraining their power. These organizations and those who lead them have enormous power that allows them to do almost whatever they wish. Without supervision as well as internal and external inspection, incidents like the aforementioned one will continue to occur.
Intelligence organizations must operate under supervision mechanisms, values and ethics that prevent the abuse of authority and power by those holding positions in the organizations.