THE CHIEF PROSECUTOR OF THE PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE OF BIH MET WITH THE CHIEF PROSECUTOR OF THE ICTY OTP16.04.2013. 14:53
Mutual cooperation in prosecution of war crimes was discussed at the meeting.
The recommendations of the European Commission within the framework of the structured dialogue meeting on judicial reform held on April 9-10, 2013 in Brčko, were highlighted at the meeting as they emphasize the need for adequate and timely allocation of the necessary financial and human resources for the prosecution of war crimes, as well as that there has been some progress made in the process of transferring war crimes cases to the Entities and Brčko District.
The need for independence and integrity of the prosecutors, as well as the process of appointing prosecutors, was also highlighted as one of the priorities for the professional carrier of those holding prosecutorial functions.
Chief Prosecutor Salihović informed the Chief Prosecutor Brammertz about the activities and efforts on strengthening the capacities of the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH, in terms of both human and material resources, aiming to accelerate the work on war crimes cases, which was also supported by the associations of victims in BiH.
The Prosecutor’s Office of BiH plans to strengthen its capacities in the future with additional 20 prosecutors and Chief Prosecutor Brammertz, supported the efforts of the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH to strengthen the capacities for efficient processing of complex war crimes cases and cases which were under investigation at the ICTY but were transferred to the POBIH.
Prosecutor Brammertz also called for increase in activities and more efficient processing of cases that were transferred from the ICTY.
Chief Prosecutor Salihović stressed that he would seek the maximum of commitment from all prosecutors working on war crimes cases, and will raise the issue of accountability in the absence of expected performance.
The relocation of the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH to another building with adequate and sufficient space for work is planned in the near future, which will, along with the increased number of prosecutors, help strengthen the capacities and improve efficiency in work. The recommendations of the European Commission in connection with capital investments, among other things, provide for the construction of the State Prison with high safety standards, as well as future premises of the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH.
The recommendations of the European Commission recall that the remaining backlog of complex war crimes cases at the state level should be addressed as priority. In doing so, the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH must be provided with the necessary human and material resources.
Regional cooperation of the prosecutor’s offices working on war crimes cases was also discussed at today’s meeting.
Regarding regional cooperation in prosecution of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, the European Commission and the Hague Tribunal welcome and congratulate the respective authorities for the signing of the “Protocol on Cooperation in Prosecution of Perpetrators of War crimes, Crimes against Humanity and Genocide” between the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH and the Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor of the Republic of Serbia. The Prosecutor’s Office of BiH is encouraged to sign the protocol on cooperation with its Croatian counterpart as soon as possible.
One of the topics of the meeting concerned the effective implementation of the National War Crimes Strategy and attempts to accelerate the efforts on cases with clear definition of deadlines.
The process of transferring less complex war crimes cases to Entity and the judiciary of the Brčko District and general acceleration of war crimes processing at all levels were also discussed.
From its inception, the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH has had a good continuous cooperation with the ICTY Office of the Prosecutor, which is now in its 10th year of running, because these institutions have the same mission and goal and that is detection and criminal prosecution of the perpetrators of war crimes.
Contacts between the staff of the two institutions are almost daily and today’s meeting represents that good cooperation, which will continue in the future.
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