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New Guidelines for Better Co-operation

A unified practice of giving information related to war crime trials will improve the cooperation between journalists and representatives of judicial institutions, participants at a meeting held in Zenica conclude.

During an educational workshop, which the Balkans Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, of Bosnia and Herzegovina, BiH, held in Zenica on November 5, representatives of judicial institutions and the media discuss the problems they are facing when giving or searching for information from trials.

Representatives of the Cantonal Court and Prosecution in Zenica said that the work of courts and prosecutors’ offices was not transparent enough due to the non-existence of regulations on which type and form of information the institutions were allowed to announce publicly.

The participants were informed about the latest guidelines issued by the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council, HJPC, giving precise instructions on what type of information about grave crimes could be made available to public. The HJPC concluded that all confirmed indictments and verdicts pronounced at trials for war crimes and other grave crimes could be published on the Internet pages of those institutions.

Jasminka Ibrakovic, Secretary of the Cantonal Court in Zenica, said that she considered that this institution would accept the HJPC’s guidelines.

The participants pointed out that the Cantonal Court and Prosecution did not have spokespersons, which made the work of both the institutions and journalists much more difficult.

“It is possible to get information from these institutions, but, in order to get it you need to know the people working on the cases in question. This is not a good way for giving information. There should be a systemic way of informing the public about ongoing processes,” said Dzenana Sivac from TV Zenica.

Journalists praised their cooperation with the spokesperson of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Zenica-Doboj Canton, MUP of ZDC.

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