News 21 Nov 12

Bosnia to Bolster Corruption and Organised Crime Probes

As a country in transition, Bosnia and Herzegovina must pay special attention to prosecute corruption and organized crime cases, the country’s highest judicial authority said.

Denis Dzidic
BIRN
Sarajevo
HJPC Conferece/Photo by BIRN

The Bosnian law enforcement and prosecution agencies must be better equipped, trained and interconnected as well as willing to work with their counterparts in the entire region to battle the most severe types of organized crimes and corruption cases, a conference organised by the Bosnian High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council, HJPC, concluded.

All the chief prosecutors in the country, their deputies and representatives of police agencies met in Sarajevo on Tuesday to discuss the need to strengthen capacities within Bosnia and Herzegovina in working on organized crime cases.

The meeting comes as a direct result of the European Commission progress report on Bosnia, which stated that the country has “failed to face and adequately fight problems of organized crime and corruption”.

Participants of the conference concluded that Bosnia must build an “efficient prevention system for corruption” and prioritize work on the most severe cases of organized crimes, which in many cases is interregional.

The Bosnian highest judicial authority said it would actively work on seeking regional cooperation in all cases of organized crimes; even organizing common regional investigative team, when the circumstances are right.

“This kind of decisive action is expected from us by our European partners. Our road to European integration will depend on our success in battling this type of crime”, said the president of the Bosnian HJPC Milorad Novkovic.

In order to improve the work on sensitive cases, the HJPC has said it is important that the Bosnian State prosecutor office is connected to the prosecutor offices in the Federation and Republika Srpska entities, and the Brcko district prosecution.

The need to have specialized prosecutors working only on organized crime and corruption cases was highlighted as well as the need for “full independence of prosecutors on all levels”.

This conclusion comes a fortnight after leaders of the Bosnian Serb Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, SNSD, and the Social Democratic Party, SDP signed an agreement that envisages that the country’s parliament and assemblies at lower levels would appoint state prosecutors.

This deal drew heavy criticism from the HJPC and representatives of the international community fearing this would place prosecutors under the influence of politicians.

 

 

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