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Bosnia region's president charged with abuse of office

Members of the special police arrest President of Bosnia's autonomous Muslim-Croat federation Zivko Budimir (R) in Sarajevo April 26, 2013.
Members of the special police arrest President of Bosnia's autonomous Muslim-Croat federation Zivko Budimir (R) in Sarajevo April 26, 2013.

SARAJEVO (Reuters) - The president of Bosnia's autonomous Muslim-Croat federation was indicted on Wednesday over alleged corruption and abuse of office for pardoning convicts sentenced for grave crimes, the highest-ranking Bosnian official to face such charges.

The Bosnian state prosecutor's office said in a statement Zivko Budimir and six others faced charges of taking bribes and illegal mediation, in a case it said had "endangered the security of citizens".

The indictment is the latest twist in a long-running saga which saw Budimir detained and briefly jailed earlier this year. He has denied any wrongdoing in the case.

The state court must still confirm the indictment and Budimir's political fate remains unclear. He can be dismissed from office only by the Constitutional Court on an initiative by a two-thirds majority in the Federation parliament.

Under a deal that ended Bosnia's 1992-95 war, the country was split into a Federation, dominated by Muslim Bosniaks and Croats, and a Serb Republic.

(Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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