The Mamic brothers, who announced from Bosnia that they would like to serve their prison sentences in Bosnia after they had been convicted in Croatia, might be eligible for release in that country after serving a third of their sentence, Vecernji List daily wrote on Friday in a piece exploring whether their plan could work.
Zdravko and Zoran Mamic, who hold dual Croatian and Bosnian citizenship, were both convicted by a Croatian court for taking party in a scheme to siphon 116 million kuna (€15 million) out of the Dinamo Zagreb football club via illegal annexes to player contracts. Zdravko was sentenced to six and a half years in prison, the day after he fled to neighboring Bosnia in 2018. His brother Zoran – also convicted, to four years and eight months in prison – followed earlier this month after exhausting all available appeals.
From Bosnia, Mamics then sent press releases saying they would prefer to serve their sentences in Bosnia.
In order for a Croatian sentence to be executed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the verdict must refers to an act punishable by law of both countries, which makes matters complicated when it comes to white collar crimes.
The Mamic brothers were convicted in Croatia for counts of abuse of office and authority, which also exists in Bosnian law and where the most severe form of the crime is punishable by 3-20 years in prison, which is harsher than Croatian law, which sets a sentence of 1-12 years in prison. However, in cases like these, Bosnia cannot impose a harsher sentence than originally given by a Croatian court.
As for counts of bribery, the description of criminal offenses are similar in both countries, with the sentence in Croatia being 1-8 years in prison, and in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 6 months to 5 years in prison.
Therefore, if the neighboring country takes over the execution of the sentence, Bosnian court could set a shorter sentence for that part on the verdict. In that case, no matter how shorter the sentence is given, Croatia would legally have to respect the fact that they had served their sentence in Bosnia.
The third felony for which Zoran Mamic was convicted was “abuse of trust in business operations,” with a sentence for a more severe form set at 1-10 years in prison.
There is no such felony defined in Bosnian law, but there is “abuse of trust”, which is punishable by up to one year in prison.
It is also unclear whether Bosnia and Herzegovina could treat the felonies which the Mamic brothers were convicted of as acts of “fiscal nature” i.e. tax evasion, because if a citizen of Bosnia did not pay taxes in Croatia, and vice versa, the execution of the sentence will not be taken over.
That would mean that they could avoid serving any time in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but would also have to remain living there.
And even if their prison terms remain unchanged in Bosnia, they could benefit from parole, which is available to prisoners in Bosnia just like in Croatia after half of the sentence is served. However, extraordinary parole is also available in “justified cases” after only a third of the sentence is served, Vecernji List reported.