OSCE Helps Bosnia Speed Up War Crimes Cases

The OSCE and Bosnia’s top judicial authority have launched a joint project aimed at accelerate work on war crimes prosecutions by supporting support legal institutions.

The project, which started on Monday and will continue for 15 months, is intended to help tackle the huge backlog of outstanding prosecutions in Bosnia’s two political entities, the Bosniak-Croat Federation and the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska.

“By transferring a large number of cases to entity prosecutor’s offices, it has become obvious that it is impossible to carry out efficient work on those cases with existing capacity of entity institutions. Thus it is crucial to provide assistance to these institutions as soon as possible,” the project’s leader Francesco Caruso told BIRN.

In accordance with Bosnia’s war crimes strategy, 200 cases were transferred to judicial institutions in the entities and the Brcko District last year, while around 600 cases remain at the state level.

The strategy envisages that the most sensitive state-level cases be finished by 2016 and the rest within 15 years.

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