SARAJEVO Oct 18 (Reuters) – Dozens of people were injured on Monday when workers at a stone merchant in southern Bosnia clashed with police, trying to prevent the arrival of a court bankruptcy commissioner, state radio reported.
The commissioner succeeded in entering the premises. But the office of Bosnia’s chief prosecutor ordered local courts to stop pursuing the bankruptcy until it had completed investigating the legality of the bankruptcy process and misuse of more than 12 million Bosnian marka ($8.6 million).
The prosecutor’s office said in a statement it was investigating 18 people suspected of organised crime, money laundering, a fraudulent bankruptcy, tax evasion and abuse of authority related to operations by the Granit company.
Granit workers have been on strike for months protesting against what they said was a “fraudulent bankruptcy” declared after the firm’s privatisation had been annulled.
Early on Monday, the workers clashed with dozens of court policemen accompanying the bankruptcy commissioner arriving at the company in the town of Jablanica. Fifteen policemen were wounded and 17 workers detained for questioning, the radio reported.
“Some workers were also hurt, mainly because of the teargas that a special police unit had to use to disperse them,” said Marijan Biletic, a deputy head of the court police in the Muslim-Croat federation, one of Bosnia’s two autonomous regions.