News 24 Feb 14

Bosnian War Crimes Case Map Goes Online

The OSCE mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina has launched an online map of completed war crimes cases across the country in a bid to enhance public trust in the legal process.

Denis Dzidic
BIRN
Sarajevo
The OSCE's online map.

The newly-launched Bosnian War Crimes Case Map is intended to promote “the ideals of justice and reconciliation between people in Bosnia”, the head of the OSCE’s mission in the country, Fletcher Burton, said on Monday.

“Prosecution of war crimes cases is the key precondition for reconciliation. For reconciliation we need transparency and the openness of the judiciary, which will develop the understanding and trust of the public. The citizens will finally have all the information in one place,” Burton said.

The searchable online map contains information about the criminals and details about their crimes and the verdicts handed down by the courts on a case-by-case basis since 2003.

Meddzida Kreso, president of the Bosnian state court, said that it would help create greater public understanding of what the courts are doing, and reduce the amount of deliberate misinformation in the media.

“Providing proper information will decrease manipulation of the truth, and make it impossible to suggest that only one ethnicity is being prosecuted for war crimes,” said Kreso.

She also said that the state court has created a complete database of all war crimes in accordance with Bosnia’s national strategy on war crimes cases, which envisages that the most complex cases should be completed within seven years at state level, and all the others within 15 years.

The president of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council, Milorad Novkovic, said he hoped that the map of completed cases would speed up the implementation of the national strategy.

“The prosecution of these cases is not an easy job. The national strategy is being implemented and we are making maximum effort to meet the deadlines. Some progress has been made, but we need extra efforts to meet the deadlines - or, if it is not possible, at least to act in accordance with that document as much as we can,” he said.

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