Bosnia’s state-level Constitutional Court faces everyday pressure from political forces that don’t want to accept rulings that go against their ethnic base, its newly-appointed president Zlatko Knezevic told BIRN.
Prosecutions of the most significant war crimes, corruption and organised crime cases slowed last year, but the head of Bosnia’s High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council insists that the focus in 2018 will be on dealing with high-level suspects.
Reconciliation in the former Yugoslavia will be hard to achieve while war criminals are still treated as heroes, the chief prosecutor at the Hague Tribunal, Serge Brammertz, told BIRN ahead of its closure this month.
After his arrest, Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic told his lawyers not to waste time defending him, but instead to defend the “Serb army and people”, defence team member Miodrag Stojanovic told BIRN.
Hatred, nationalism and loyalty to Ratko Mladic made Bosnian Serb Army colonel Ljubisa Beara a key organiser of the Srebrenica massacres, says journalist Ivica Djikic, the author of a novel about the recently-deceased convict.
Prosecutors in the former Yugoslavia must develop comprehensive policies for dealing with sexual and gender-based crimes to ensure justice for vicims, Hague Tribunal deputy prosecutor Michelle Jarvis told BIRN.
The Bosnian authorities need to explain what they want from their partnership with NATO, particularly on security issues and fighting violent extremism, the political adviser at the US Mission to NATO told BIRN.