State Prosecutor Faces Disciplinary Body Over Failure to Process War Crimes Case
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Munib Halilovic, a former Bosnian state prosecutor, is facing the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council’s disciplinary commission on charges of failing to investigate a war crimes case.
At today’s HJPC disciplinary commission hearing, disciplinary prosecutor Mirza Hadziomerovic said Halilovic failed to work on a case which was assigned to him as a state prosecutor.
Halilovic said he was convinced that he had committed an offense. He said he didn’t work on the case in question because it fell under the category of less complex cases. According to the National Strategy for War Crimes Processing, Halilovic argued, more complex cases needed to be given priority.
“I’m not saying I couldn’t have worked on the case, but there was a category of cases that needed to be solved within the next 7 or 15 years…This case was in the second category,” Halilovic said.
Halilovic then presented evidence which indicated that the case at hand was not a priority case.
“My plans have been submitted to the HJPC and the supervisory body for years. This case was planned to be dealt with in 2016. No one ever said to me, ‘No prosecutor Halilovic, this case has to be dealt with right away,’” he said.
He said state prosecutors had been told to give priority to the most complex war crimes cases since the adoption of the National Strategy for War Crimes Processing in 2008.
Disciplinary prosecutor Hadziomerovic said the suit wasn’t based on the fact that Halilovic hadn’t completed the case, but that he hadn’t worked on it.
“I consider this absolutely not my fault. The fact that I shouldn’t have completed the case, but should have worked on it is amazing,” Halilovic said.
Halilovic said that prior to the adoption of the national strategy, the chief prosecutor would decide which cases state prosecutors should process.
He proposed that Milorad Barasin, a former chief prosecutor with the state prosecution, Vesna Budimir, a former state prosecutor, and Milorad Novkovic, the chairman of the supervisory body for the implementation of the strategy on war crimes processing, be examined at the main trial.
In conclusion, Halilovic proposed that the disciplinary prosecutor consider all the evidence and drop the charges against him.
“This process as such represents a direct attack on the strategy. All prosecutors thought they should handle things this way,” Halilovic said.
According to media reports, disciplinary procedures against Halilovic and prosecutors Vesna Ilic and Mirko Lecic were initiated following an investigation based on a complaint filed by Milan Romanic, an attorney with the Republic Organization of Families of Captured and Killed Soldiers and Missing Civilians from Republika Srspka. Romanic accused the prosecutors of failing to handle certain war crimes cases.
The main hearing is scheduled for September 4.