World Bulletin / News Desk
Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik was summoned on Monday by state prosecutors to a hearing over a controversial referendum held at the weekend despite a constitutional court veto.
On Sunday, Serbs in Bosnia voted overwhelmingly to keep celebrating a statehood day in January, a date tied to the divided nation's brutal 1990s war and a sensitive issue for the country's other ethnic groups.
The head of Republika Srpska (RS), the Serb-run entity of Bosnia, Dodik "was summoned for a hearing by the prosecutor's office as a suspect," prosecution spokesman Boris Grubesic told AFP, without providing a date for the hearing.
Bosnia's constitutional court had cancelled the referendum, ruling that the holiday is illegal because it discriminates against non-Serbs, but Dodik pressed ahead, despite disapproval from the United States and the European Union.
The violation of constitutional court decisions is punishable with prison sentences from six months to five years.
The referendum showed the fragility of central Bosnian institutions that link the country's two semi-independent entities, the RS and the Muslim-Croat federation, as agreed by the Dayton peace accord which ended the country's 1992-1995 war.
There was no immediate reaction from Dodik to the summons.
The United States, which had earlier warned that the referendum would lead the RS to "isolation and uncertainty" and that the Dayton agreement "cannot be challenged without consequences," on Monday supported the prosecutor's move.
"Acting in disregard of a decision of the Constitutional Court blatantly violates the rule of law, and we count on competent institutions to address that violation in accordance with the laws of BiH (Bosnia), while we evaluate appropriate consequences," the US embassy in Sarajevo said in a statement.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Eylül 2016, 10:18