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Bosnian Prosecutor’s Disciplinary Charge ‘Not Political Revenge’

17. October 2016.12:25
Disciplinary proceedings were launched against state prosecutor Miroslav Janjic because he failed to include five people’s deaths in a war crimes indictment, not because he indicted a Bosniak commander, prosecutors insisted.

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Disciplinary prosecutors said on Monday that they launched a professional negligence case against Janjic for not including five deaths in a war crimes indictment and denied media claims that it was an example of politically-motivated revenge.

Some Bosnian Serb media have reported that the disciplinary proceedings, launched in March this year, were an attempt to punish Janjic for raising the indictment in the war crimes case against Bosnian Army wartime commander Naser Oric, who is seen as a hero by many Bosniaks for his defence of Srebrenica in 1992.

But disciplinary prosecutor Mirza Hadziomerovic insisted that the case against Janjic had been launched on the basis of solid evidence.

“When we speak about these proceedings, many media reports indicated that it has been initiated because of the work on Naser Oric case. For the sake of the public, the Office of the Disciplinary Prosecutor wants to say that these proceedings has been initiated only because of the five dead people who the prosecutor failed to include in the indictment even though evidence was available,” Hadziomerovic said.

The five deaths are alleged to have been negligently left out of the indictment of former Bosnian Serb soldier Gligor Begovic for wartime crimes in the Bijeljina area.

Hadziomerovic said the Begovic indictment had only been confirmed after the state court had returned it for further processing four times.
He argued that this represented “professional negligence”.

“This is the most striking example of a case in which the indictment does not contain all the crimes for which there is sufficient evidence,” he said.

“Also we should point out that after a verdict of conviction had been pronounced against Begovic, he was acquitted of charges of killing two people. Those charges were included in the indictment afterwards. The explanation of the verdict indicates that the prosecutor did not present evidence concerning those murders at all,” he added.

In July this year, Begovic was sentenced under a second-instance verdict to ten years in prison for committing crimes against civilians at the Batkovic detention center near Bijeljina in 1992.

Naser Oric is currently on trial alongside another former Bosniak soldier, charged with killing three Serb prisoners in villages in the Bratunac and Srebrenica area in 1992. His prosecution has angered many Bosniaks.

Janjic’s lawyer Fahrija Karkin said the disciplinary procedure against the prosecutor should be halted because it represented “an attack on prosecutorial freedom”.

“I was expecting the case to be dismissed. Situations of this type happen in 90 per cent of the cases in which I am involved. Therefore, I consider the suit to be an attack on the prosecutorial freedom and independence,” Karkin said.

The first hearing in the disciplinary case against Janjic is scheduled for November 24.

Denis Džidić

This post is also available in: Bosnian