In his address, delivering his report to the UN Security Council, Prosecutor Serge Brammertz of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) emphasized objective assessments of the work of the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina in war crimes cases, based on expertise and professional standards and criteria.
In Prosecutor Brammertz’s address, assessments were given regarding the work on, and prosecution of war crimes cases in the countries of the former Yugoslavia. In his address to the UN Security Council, inter alia, he stated the following:
“The denial of crimes and glorification of convicted war criminals are also pervasive throughout the former Yugoslavia. And regrettably, denial and glorification are often driven or supported by politicians and public officials throughout the region. I have previously reported on political interference in war crimes justice in the former Yugoslavia. Just last week we witnessed an alarming example of such interference in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
My Office has always fully supported the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its current Chief Prosecutor. It has been our consistent experience that she and her team carry out their responsibilities professionally and ethically, and we trust that they will continue to prosecute all those responsible for war crimes, without regard to ethnicity or official status.
While this example is particularly pronounced, throughout the region the climate of denial, glorification and politicization has a chilling effect on prosecutors and judges and undermines the rule of law“ – Prosecutor Brammertz noted.
In his Report, Prosecutor Brammertz also stated the following: “Victims on all sides deserve their suffering to be respected and acknowledged. Communities should unanimously condemn those responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.”
The Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina has had good and continuous cooperation with the IRMCT Office of the Prosecutor for many years now and has fully adopted highest international standards in the prosecution of cases of international humanitarian law. The Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina is dedicated to continuing such cooperation in the future, especially in the segments of strategic support, exchange of acquired knowledge and improvement of regional cooperation.
Prosecutors, professional staff and employees of the Special Department for War Crimes of the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina will continue to work professionally and in accordance with the established standards, and they are encouraged by the support expressed by Prosecutor Brammertz.
The Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina has indicted almost 900 people so far for war crimes and grave violations of international humanitarian law, and based on those indictments, final verdicts of more than 3,100 years in prison have been handed down.
Continuous joint cooperation and good and open communication between the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the IRMCT Office of the Prosecutor has significantly contributed to the achievement of these results.