CHIEF PROSECUTOR VISITED THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION ON MISSING PERSONS (ICMP) IN SARAJEVO06.05.2014. 15:52
During the visit to the ICMP headquarters in BiH, the Chief Prosecutor met with its Director, Ms. Kathryne Bomberger, and the Chief of the Western Balkans Program, Mr. Matthew Holiday and other officers of the Commission.
The Chief Prosecutor told the ICMP officials that he often met representatives of the victims’ associations and families of the missing persons of all ethnicities and from all parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and they informed him of the problems and difficulties they met while searching for missing persons, as well as that all the institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, along with the international community, must invest additional efforts into expediting this process.
At this meeting, the Director Bomberger informed the Chief Prosecutor about the history of the ICMP mission since its establishment in 1996, as well as about its activities and results achieved in Bosnia and Herzegovina and other countries worldwide.
The Chief Prosecutor stressed that intensive activities must be initiated in Bosnia and Herzegovina and that there must be daily contacts and cooperation between all the subjects involved in the process of tracing and identifying missing persons in order to have this process expedited, since this process was very important for the victims’ families as well as for investigations in war crimes cases where mortal remains had been found and exhumed, as the respective remains would also be important material evidence in such cases.
During the meeting, there was the discussion on the possibilities of expediting the process of future exhumations, as well as expediting the process of identification and resolving all technical difficulties arising in the process, i.e. difficulties with keeping mortal remains in appropriate conditions, resolving the issue of identification of the found mortal remains for which the identity of the victims to whom those remains belong has not been determined yet, as well as other difficulties that occur during the field work.
The Chef Prosecutor noted that he often discussed the need for expediting the exhumation and identification processes with Prosecutors assigned to war crimes cases, and that he hoped that the revision of the found mortal remains held in mortuaries in several cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and awaiting identification there would be finished as soon as possible.
Some data indicate that there are at least 3,000 found and yet unidentified mortal remains in mortuaries, whose identification must be a priority in the period to follow.
During the visit to the ICMP headquarters in BiH, the Chief Prosecutor visited the capacities for the DNA identification and technical capacities, at which place the methodology of laboratory work on victims’ identification via the DNA method were presented to him.
Intensive cooperation between the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH and ICMP in BiH will be continued in future.
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