Radulj: Great progress made in fighting organised crime

Sarajevo – Deputy Justice Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina Srdjan Radulj has emphasised a great progress that the judicial institutions made in fighting organised crime and other serious forms of crime, but also stressed a big delay in the prosecution of war crimes cases.

“Even though more than a year ago protocols were signed on the exchange of information and evidence between the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH and the prosecutor’s offices in Zagreb and Belgrade, we have not seen any effects of those activities yet,” Radulj told reporters ahead of the conference of chief prosecutors in BiH that is taking place in Sarajevo.

He explained that information and evidence need to be submitted to BiH regarding war crimes suspects, who are not available to the BiH law enforcement authorities, so that they can be prosecuted. Radulj voiced hope there would be much more indictments regarding the implementation of these protocols in the foreseeable future.

Radulj stressed the fight against organised crime and corruption as a very important segment, which will be the topic of the next meeting in the scope of the Structured Dialogue on Justice scheduled for May 13-14 in Sarajevo. The European Union recognised this issue as an important element that could improve BiH’s status for accession to the EU, as well as the status of BiH citizens.

“All facilities of the BiH prosecutor’s offices need to invest a maximum effort in working on war crimes cases and other criminal offences that are really damaging the basic existential issues of the people in BiH. Acts of corruption are taking away millions of marks from BiH, and somebody is seizing that money unlawfully,” Radulj said.

Addressing the participants of the conference, Radulj stated that since the formation of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) 10 years ago, much has been done for the independence of the holders of judicial positions in BiH, and for the development of the HJPC as the only legal and legitimate body comprised of the representatives of all judicial functions in BiH.

“Within the EU-BiH Structured Dialogue on Justice, there is often talk about who should take part in it. I personally believe that it is the HJPC, which in a legal and legitimate manner advocates the interests of the judicial community,” Radulj said.

The focus of the Structured Dialogue on Justice will shift from the institutional reform, which will remain one of the topics, and refers to the passing of a law on BiH courts, a new law on the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH, and a new law on the HJPC, to the fight against corruption, organised crime and criminal offences related to privatisation, stated the deputy justice minister.TSN