The trial of Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik, scheduled to begin on Wednesday for non-implementation of the decisions of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, has been postponed until December 6. This was announced by the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Tuesday after it accepted that Dodik had a scheduled trip to Hungary and received the invitation before the hearing was originally set for November 22.
If convicted, both Dodik and another official, Nedeljko Lukić, face a potential sentence ranging from six months to five years in prison as well as an automatic ban on holding their positions. The changes to the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina under which they will be tried were imposed by current High Representative Christian Schmidt on July 1. This was also when Schmidt put out of force the laws that Republika Srpska had tried to block as well as the judgment of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Lukić published the changes in the Official Gazette of the entity, meaning both he and Dodik broke the law. At a preliminary hearing at the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, both pleaded not guilty and argued that Schmidt is not a legitimately elected high representative, even though he was elected according to prescribed procedure. Therefore, they claim that he could not have imposed changes to criminal code.