XI Professional Counseling for Prosecutors in BiH
Panel on Corruption, Economic and Organized Crime
Corruption in public procurement, seizure of property gained through criminal activity, and the strengthening of transparency in the work of the prosecutor's offices in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) were topics of the panel devoted to corruption, economic and organized crime. Discussions on these topics were held from 1 to 3 October 2018 as part of the annual conference - Prosecutors' counseling in BiH.
One of the most important conclusions of the panel related to corruption in public procurement was that BiH investigative bodies need to investigate more proactively corruption in public procurement, and to focus on the early stages of the public procurement process, since this phase is actually a fertile soil for the commission of corrupt criminal offenses. Also, it was pointed out that there need to be adequate mechanisms of cooperation between prosecutors in BiH and the Public Procurement Agency of BiH.
"It is important that prosecutors in BiH intensify their efforts when dealing with financial investigations. It is necessary to work on the establishment of a system that will enable prosecutors to access information that is relevant for financial investigations more quickly and easily," said the chief prosecutor of the Cantonal Prosecutor's Office of the Tuzla Canton, Tomislav Ljubić. Mr. Ljubić was one of the moderators of the panel dealing with the seizure of gains acquired through criminal acts.
Participants in the panel which dealt with improving transparency in the work of the prosecutors' offices agreed that the Chief Prosecutor has a key role in creating and encouraging the openness of the prosecutor's office to the media and citizens. In this regard, it was concluded that this area needs to be further regulated through an internal document that would regulate internal and external communication in detail for each prosecutor's office in BiH.
On this occasion, the key elements of the "Manual on Investigation, Accusation and Judgment in the cases of Corruption, Crimes with Elements of Financial Crimes and Organized Crime,” were presented. This document is still in the creation phase.
The organization of the panel devoted to corruption, economic and organized crime was supported by USAID's Justice Project in BiH in cooperation with the Association of Prosecutors of the Federation of BiH and other important partners. In addition to the panel devoted to corruption, other topics also covered at this Conference were war crimes, human trafficking, children in conflict with the law, and prevention of migration and asylum abuses.