REPRESENTATIVES OF THE OFFICE OF THE WAR CRIMES PROSECUTOR OF SERBIA AND THE PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE OF BIH MET AND AGREED MUTUAL ASSISTANCE IN TERMS OF CONCRETE COOPERATION ON SEVERAL WAR CRIMES CASES19.09.2013. 15:28
The delegations of prosecutor’s offices headed by Chief Prosecutor Goran Salihović and War Crimes Prosecutor Vladimir Vukčević, discussed the results achieved within the scope of the Protocol on Cooperation in the Prosecution of Perpetrators of War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide at the meeting.
Representatives of the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH informed their counterparts from Serbia about the activities initiated on search, discovery and exhumation of war crimes victims - Serbian citizens who were abducted from a train in Štrpci in 1993 and whose remains are assumed to be in Višegrad.
Following the receipt of information from the Serbian Office of the Prosecutor on the possible location of the remains of victims of crimes committed in Štrpci, these locations were inspected and certain remains were discovered near by that location. Detailed analysis will determine the origin of the remains found. The Prosecutor’s Office of BiH has pledged full support and cooperation in activities required for locating the remains of the victims, their exhumation and identification.
The prosecutors also discussed the prosecution of "Dobrovoljačka street" and "Tuzla Column" cases which were transferred to the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and further transfer of the remaining part of the case relating to the Tuzla Column to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The colleagues from Serbia were also informed that they will soon be handed over evidence in two cases of War Crimes committed in Srebrenica, in which indictments were issued but the accused are located on the territory of Serbia.
"Joint cooperation in war crimes cases must be further developed and continued to allow Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia to resolve cases whose non-prosecution burdens the rule of law and the process of reconciliation in the region" - stated Prosecutor Salihović.
Representatives of the Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor of Serbia informed their counterparts from BiH about the activities carried out in terms of verification of the places of residence and citizenship for a number of suspects who are located on the territory of Serbia
The Prosecutors from Belgrade have also expressed their gratitude to associations of victims of war crimes from Srebrenica and the Mothers of Srebrenica and Žepa Enclaves Movement on the consent and support given to the prosecution of those accused for the crimes in Srebrenica who are located in Serbia.
"This consent and support to our efforts given by the Srebrenica victims is a major breakthrough and an expression of confidence in the Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor of Serbia and it is one of the key steps in the process of establishing the rule of law and reconciliation in the region" - stated Vladimir Vukčević.
During the meeting the representatives of the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH informed the colleagues that the process of exhumation at the site of a landfill in Buća Potok continues and that the prosecutor’s office is determined to fully investigate the information about the existence of human remains at this particular site. The colleagues from Belgrade voiced their confidence that the process of search for the remains shall be continued until the information is fully verified.
Further cooperation and assistance in the prosecution of war crimes cases in which the perpetrators, victims or evidence are located in the territory of the two countries was agreed.
Cooperation within the framework of the Protocol is essential for the establishment of the rule of law in the region, the fight against impunity for war crimes, and is supported by the EU institutions within the European integration process of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.
Dear Media Representatives, when transmitting news please bear in mind that persons referred to in the news and information of the BiH Prosecutor's Office, have the status of a suspect or an accused person. Let us remind you of the principle of presumption of innocence, which defines that no person shall be considered guilty until his/her guilt has been established by a final verdict.