International community: BiH needs to urgently amend CPC provisions

International community: BiH needs to urgently amend CPC provisions

The EU Delegation in BiH announced that it “takes note of recent deliberations of the BiH Constitutional Court (CC), and once again calls upon the BiH Parliamentary Assembly and all political parties to urgently amend the relevant Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) provisions in accordance with international standards and as required by the BiH Constitutional Court”.

As the EU Delegation to BiH emphasised in a press release, this will be essential for the rule of law and institutions’ ability to preserve the country’s security, to conduct sensitive investigations and to offer witness immunity as well as in co-operating with international law enforcement agencies such as Interpol and Europol.

“At the same time, the EU expresses its serious concern about the failure of the political parties, as well as the Council of Ministers and the Ministry of Justice, to uphold their commitments to fight corruption, organised crime and other forms of serious crime, in the context of the preparation of the Commission Opinion on BiH’s application for EU membership”, the press release reads.

Further on, the EU Delegation underlined that this is a year that represents a window of opportunity for Bosnia and Herzegovina to strengthen its links with the EU and with the region, and to move closer to EU standards, not further away.

A few days ago, the embassies of Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, and the OHR and OSCE expressed their deep concern about the “evident lack of genuine interest by HDZ BiH and SNSD in implementing the decision of the BiH Constitutional Court on the BiH Criminal Procedure Code (CPC)”.

For these embassies and international organisations, it is clear that these two parties are not concerned that their inaction will severely undermine the fight against corruption and organised crime in BiH.

“These parties have, through the amendments proposed by HDZ BiH, pushed for changes to the CPC by the BiH Parliamentary Assembly that is not in line with International standards, while opposing amendments that would meet those standards and also assure prosecutorial and judicial effectiveness at the BiH state level. Moreover, they have created procedural obstacles in the BiH Parliamentary Assembly for the adoption of any CPC amendments”, the embassies and organisations that signed the joint press release stressed.

They find the apparent effort by these parties to create legal gaps and strip the state judicial institutions of the tools to effectively fight organised crime and corruption completely unacceptable. This approach, as they said, makes these party leaders and their representatives in the BiH Parliament directly responsible for the potential further expansion of organised crime and corruption throughout the state, to the detriment of all citizens.

“The Embassies of Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, and the OHR and OSCE again strongly urge BiH’s political parties to adopt amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code which are in line with international standards and which address the changes required by the Constitutional Court, without further delay”, stated  the press release.

SNSD president, Milorad Dodik stated that this party is not the part of parliamentary majority in the state Parliament and therefore does not accept any kind of responsibility for this situation in BiH. He emphasised that the parties of the BiH ruling coalition must find the solution as soon as possible, so that the state can harmonise the laws and regulations with EU standards.

BiH Minister of Security, Dragan Mektić, recently stated that BiH avoided the implementation of the visa regime in co-operation with the EU due to lack of changes of the CPC. The country’s Constitutional Court ordered the changes in several articles, especially in the wiretapping of suspected persons in order to conduct investigations of criminal acts…. / IBNA