War Crimes Are not a Priority in Bosnia
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Chief Hague Tribunal Prosecutor Serge Brammertz says that prosecutors’ offices in Bosnia and Herzegovina are not sufficiently committed to solving numerous war-crimes investigations.
Brammertz addressed the Security Council of the United Nations, UN, presenting a semi-annual report on the implementation of the work strategy of the Office of the Prosecutor with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY. When it comes to Bosnia and Herzegovina, BiH, Brammertz said that the work on the National War Crimes Strategy was “delayed”.
“The implementation of the State Strategy for War Crimes Cases in BiH has been delayed and a large backlog of cases remains. Serious action is required if the deadlines defined in the Strategy are to be respected. This delay did not arise solely from a lack of resources, but reflects little commitment by the responsible institutions to prioritise war crimes investigations,” Brammertz said.
The State Strategy was adopted by the Council of Ministers of BiH in late 2008. According to the Strategy, all war-crimes cases in BiH are due to be finished by 2023, while the most complex ones should be finished by the end of next year.
Speaking about the cases referred by the Hague Prosecution to the Prosecution of BiH, Brammertz said that “the picture is bleak” and that indictments have still not been filed in those cases.
Brammertz also informed the Security Council about the progress towards the completion of the remaining cases before the ICTY, pointing out that the Prosecution had finished presenting its evidence in the cases against Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, who are on trial for genocide and other crimes committed in BiH.