JP organized a two day Panel on "Corruption, Organized Crime and Economic Crime cases"

USAID JP took part in the 8th Annual Conference of Prosecutors in BiH

Published on: October 08, 2015
From October 5th to October 7th the Annual Conference of Prosecutors from Bosnia and Herzegovina was held in Neum, organized by the Association of Prosecutors of FBiH in cooperation with Training Centers for Judges and Prosecutors of FBiH and RS, and with significant support from international agencies including USAID. The event brought together more than 100 prosecutors from throughout BiH, and this year special attention was paid to fighting corruption, economic and organized crime, the confiscation of illegally acquired property, trafficking, treatment of minors, and prosecution of war crimes. Accordingly, the work at the conference was divided into several smaller groups where the focus was on specialized topics of interest to individual prosecutors.

USAID’s Justice Project, as one of the sponsors of the entire event, organized a panel under the title "Cases of Corruption, Economic Crime and Organized Crime." Presenters on the panel were prosecutors from partner prosecutor offices of USAID's Justice Project, cantonal prosecutors Dalibor Bingas from the Cantonal PO in Tuzla and Ermin Imamovic from the Cantonal Prosecutor's Office in Zenica; district prosecutor Vesna Demonjić from the District Prosecutor's Office in Doboj; and Hajrija Sijerčić-Čolić, PhD with the Faculty of Law in Sarajevo, and Almir Maljevic, PhD from the Faculty of Criminology and Security Studies in Sarajevo. The panel moderator was a cantonal prosecutor Sanin Bogunić from the Sarajevo Cantonal Prosecutor's Office with which the project intends to conclude a partnership program in the 2015-2016 year.

During the panel there was a discussion about current issues relating to the prosecutorial practice of the cantonal and district prosecutors' offices, and finding ways to develop more efficient processing of these cases of corruption, economic crime and organized crime.

Topics discussed included the following:

  • Planning and conducting investigations in cases of economic, organized crime and corruption
  • Cooperation and coordination with law enforcement agencies in the work on economic crime, organized crime and corruption cases
  • The practice of Tuzla Prosecutor's Office in the work on cases of economic, organized crime and corruption
  • The law on combating corruption and organized crime in the Federation - solutions, the application of the Law and dilemmas in the practice of cantonal prosecutors
  • The judicial practice in cases of corruption, organized and economic crime
  • The independence and responsibility, or the courage and integrity - how to fight corruption in the judiciary

At the end of the three-day conference, conclusions were adopted by each panel that were then presented to the plenary assembly. Panel I adopted five conclusions. The conclusions expressed concern about the lack of conditions for the application of the new law on fighting corruption and organized crime in the Federation that has been in force since February 2015, thus putting the fulfillment of the law in jeopardy. They emphasized the importance of efficient processing of priority and high profile cases of organized crime and corruption to achieve the purpose of the Law. In addition, panel members stated the need for hiring professional associates with economic expertise within prosecutors’ offices in Bosnia and Herzegovina, who are needed to work on cases of corruption and economic crime. It was also noted that in most offices there is no practice of setting up special joint investigation teams in accordance with the instruction on actions and cooperation between authorized official persons and prosecutors, although the often stated opinion is that there is a need for it in practice. Finally, a conclusion was adopted that the existing standards for the evaluation of prosecutors insufficiently values the work on complex cases at the level of cantonal and district prosecutors' offices, which has the effect of discouraging prosecutors from taking on such cases. Further, they agreed, it is necessary to examine the possibility of developing adequate and weighted evaluations of such cases.