Gregorian slams BiH’s decision on international judges

SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)

Deputy High Representative Raffi Gregorian is critical of the government’s decision not to extend the mandates of international judges and prosecutors working on terrorism, organised crime and corruption cases, local media reported on Tuesday (July 28th).

“By its decision, the BiH Council of Ministers succumbed to political pressure to limit the effectiveness of the judicial system,” Gregorian said in a statement issued by the Office of the High Representative. He insists that foreign magistrates should remain as long as threats remain against local judges and prosecutors. The Council of Ministers adopted a draft law last week that extends the mandates of only a limited number of foreign judges and prosecutors until the end of 2012.

In other news, a former mujahedeen fighter convicted of murder and other crimes has escaped from the Zenica prison, local media reported on Wednesday. Karaj Kamel bin Ali, also known as Abu Hamza, failed to return to prison following a seven-day leave. By law, an inmate can be offered leave if he has served two-thirds of his sentence. BiH has added bin Ali to a list of people who pose a threat to national security because of his suspected ties to terrorist organisations.

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