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13 May 2014

Bosnia’s Record on War Crimes Prosecutions ‘Disappointing’

Amer Jahic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
Bosnian justice minister Barisa Colak admitted that the country had not gone far enough to meet its goals in prosecuting people suspected of crimes committed during the 1992-95 conflict.
Colak told an EU-Bosnia Structured Dialogue on Justice meeting in Sarajevo on Tuesday that progress had been “disappointing” and said that “there is a lot of room to improve the judiciary”.

Bosnian and EU officials were meeting to discuss the country’s huge backlog of war crimes cases and the reform of the judiciary, with Brussels urging further progress.

“These are key issues of the structured dialogue which must be worked through. In order to achieve those goals, institutional reforms and technical measures will have to be implemented,” the EU’s Direction for European Integrations said in a statement.

Bosnia’s war crimes strategy, adopted in 2008, foresees that all the most sensitive cases should be completed by 2015 and the rest of the cases within 15 years.

Gordana Zlatkovic, the justice minister in Bosnian Serb-led entity Republika Srpska, also expressed dissatisfaction and said that she had little hope that the two-day meeting would bring progress.

“Considering the agenda of this meeting, I do not expect any great improvements in the next two days,” she said.
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