Police issued fines after they were alerted to images on social media of the guests enjoying a relaxed meal replete with wine and singing at a posh restaurant in the Bosnian capital.
- Last Updated: May 6, 2020, 8:54 AM IST
A top Bosnian government minister apologised Tuesday after he was caught attending a 20-person birthday dinner for a top doctor in Sarajevo, in violation of a laundry list of anti-coronavirus measures.
Police broke up the party and issued fines late Monday night after they were alerted to images on social media of the guests enjoying a relaxed meal replete with wine and singing at a posh restaurant in the Bosnian capital.
Under Bosnia’s coronavirus lockdown, all restaurants have been ordered shut and gatherings are banned in an effort to curb spreading of the virus that has claimed some 80 lives.
Also among the partygoers were several popular musicians and a veterinary professor who had been advising Sarajevo authorities on measures to combat the virus.
Writing on Facebook, Foreign Trade Minister Stasa Kosara apologised for his “reckless behaviour” and said he would pay the fine for violating coronavirus restrictions, which ranges from 500 to 1,500 Bosnian marks (255 to 767 euros).
“I completely accept responsibility,” the minister wrote, adding that he had been unaware of the “format” of the party.
But his party’s boss, Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, warned it was the “end of his political career” in SNSD party.
The prominent doctor whose birthday was being celebrated, Jusuf Sabanovic, was dismissed from his post as head of the surgery department in Sarajevo’s main hospital.
“The rules are the same for all and everybody should respect them,” the hospital said in a statement, adding that Sabanovic has gone into self-isolation.
The head of the veterinarian faculty at the University of Sarajevo, Nihad Fejzic, was also dismissed from his position for attending the dinner.
He had been working with a team of specialists tasked with advising Sarajevo authorities on measures to combat the virus.