Dealing with a backlog of hundreds of pending war crimes investigations will be a top priority, said Bosnia’s newly-appointed chief prosecutor Goran Salihovic.Salihovic, who takes office on Friday, said he wanted to speed up approximately 600 war crimes investigations which are currently pending at the Bosnian state prosecutor’s office.
He said that the closing of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague at the end of next year would also be a major challenge, and appealed for more funds.
“A big problem for us will be the end of the Hague Tribunal and the large pending number of war crimes cases, which is why we will need better resources,” said Salihovic, who was inaugurated on Tuesday at the offices of the Bosnian High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council.
“However, we will try to strengthen this institution and the judiciary with our work,” he promised, although he complained that the prosecutor’s office was too small.
Salihovic, formerly president of Sarajevo’s municipal court, was named chief state prosecutor in December after his predecessor was fired.
Milorad Barasin was dismissed in July 2011 after a disciplinary hearing found that he had damaged the reputation of Bosnia’s state prosecution by meeting with known criminals.
Jadranka Lokmic-Misiraca worked as acting chief prosecutor in the interim period before Salihovic was appointed.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has so far received six indictments from the Hague Tribunal, all of which have already been completed.