Bosnian authorities said they will investigate several police officers, and a judge, in relation to a livestreamed femicide case.
Gunman Nermin Sulejmanovic livestreamed his ex-wife’s murder over Instagram, an attack in which he killed two more people and wounded three more before killing himself. Police and a judge had previously failed to issue a restraining order against him.
The investigations come following a wave of public pressure over the livestreamed femicide.
Before her murder, the victim, 38-year-old Nizama Hecimovic, had reported family violence to authorities in the small town of Gradacac, northeastern Bosnia.
“The investigation teams of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tuzla Canton are conducting extensive operational and investigative actions related to events before, during, and after the triple homicide and attempted murder of three individuals in Gradacac on Friday, August 11,” said Tuzla Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson Almir Arnautovic.
The Office of the Disciplinary Prosecutor of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina (VSTV) has purportedly initiated proceedings against Gradacac Judge Lejla Numanovic.
On 7 August, Numanovic denied an application for a restraining order against Sulejmanovic.
At the time, Hecimovic had reported Sulejmanovic for domestic violence. Despite her being too afraid to testify against her ex-husband, Hecimovic sought a restraining order for fear for her life.
Sulejmanovic is a bodybuilder with a criminal record. He killed his ex-wife on Instagram live following her restraining order request.
Beginning his livestream, Sulejmanovic told viewers he would show them “what a live murder looks like.” He then used his gun to shoot his ex-wife in the head.
Thousands of people have since viewed Sulejmanovic’s livestream. The Interior Ministry in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Federation entity said it planned to investigate those who expressed support for Sulejmanovic’s actions on social media.
Following a police manhunt, Sulejmanovic committed suicide in front of police officers.
Authorities have also said they will investigate how Hecimovic’s hidden location was leaked, leading to her discovery by Sulejmanovic.
Hecimovic’s funeral will be held next week. A day of mourning has been declared in Tuzla Canton, while the government of Bosnia’s other entity, Republika Srpska, has declared a day of mourning on 16 August.
Hecimovic’s family has requested that government officials not attend her funeral.
In the past seven years, some 60 women have died as a result of femicide in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Some eight cases were reported last year alone.
The real figure is likely higher, thanks to a lack of official statistics on femicides in Bosnia.
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