Bosnia and Croatia’s chief prosecutors met in Sarajevo to discuss signing a protocol on working together to help prosecute war crimes cases and stop offenders evading justice.
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s chief prosecutor Goran Salihovic and his Croatian counterpart Mladen Bajic met on Monday to talk through the possibility of agreeing a deal to ease the mutual transfer of evidence between the two countries and ensure that suspects are more likely to face trial.
The proposed protocol on cooperation in the prosecution of perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide is intended to address the issue of parallel investigations in the two countries and would regulate trials of suspects in their country of origin for war crimes committed in the other.
The meeting between Salihovic and Bajic came a month after Bosnia signed a similar agreement with Serbia.
Boris Grubesic, spokesperson for the Bosnian state prosecution, told BIRN that the protocol would ensure more efficient prosecution of war crimes suspects who are using the fact that both Croatia and Bosnia do not extradite their citizens to escape punishment for violations of humanitarian law.
“At the meeting, both sides began negotiating on the final text of the protocol, and additional meetings will take place in the future,” said Grubesic.
He added that the signing of the protocol would be a step towards ending impunity for war crimes.
It is unclear how many cases might be transferred if the protocol is signed, but the Bosnian state prosecution still has more than 600 open war crimes investigations.