No Progress in Processing Corruption in BiH

No Progress in Processing Corruption in BiH

 

By Nevena Šarenac – Sarajevo

Transparency International Bosnia and Herzegovina (TI BiH) published the report on the monitoring of prosecuting corruption in the courts and prosecutors’ offices in BiH 2011 to 2012, whose findings show that in the last two years has been no improvement regarding to the prosecution of corruption over the previous period.

The Data show that in the work of prosecutors was noted the increase of number of reports, but has been a reduction in the number of reports of corruption and criminal offenses against official and other duties (on average 2.3 percent of the total number of applications).

It is the same situation with the number of investigations by the prosecutor’s office, which had increased the total number of investigations of corruption cases 2012 in relation to the 2011 (1464 to 2012, compared to 829 in 2011.).

However, these investigations have not yielded sufficient results due to the fact that there has been stagnation in terms of the number of indictments for crimes of corruption and that the number of indictments for corruption in number of  223 during the 2012  was  disproportionately small compared to the number of investigations conducted by these crimes – 1464.

Also, the share of 1.4 percent of confirmed indictments for corruption offenses in relation to all the other confirmed indictment is extremely low, and when even the figure of 223 confirmed indictments for corruption offenses brought in connection with a number of 74 in regular court in BiH, it is clear this is indeed a very small number of confirmed indictments.

In terms of the total number of judgments rendered by the courts there has been noticeable increase in the volume of work, but no significant changes in the number of convictions for corruption.

Except in the Brcko district, at all levels, there has been a reduction in the number of convictions for offenses of corruption.

As in earlier period, the additional problem is lacking of cases about system corruption in which high level politicians would be processed.

When it comes to the structure of the convictions, the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council refused to provide information about the structure of the judgment, thereby violating the Law on Free Access to Information.

However, according to unconfirmed information held by TIBiH, there were no any significant changes.

During the year 2012, there was a total of seven prison sentences at all levels of the criminal offense of bribe-taking, while the abuse of power  was issued a total of nine prison sentences at all levels, which is certainly not a very high number compared to the pervasive problem of corruption.

Also, the convictions were mainly for cases of abuse at the lower levels, while absent epilogues for cases at higher levels.

Monitoring of prosecuting the corruption also included confiscation of the illegally acquired property.

TI BiH data show that in the 2012 there was a significant decrease in the number of cases in which the illegally acquired property  was taken compared to the 2011 (57 compared to 228), and in the period 2011-2012  there has been a drastic reduction in the financial worth of the confiscated properties (in the period 2009 -2010).

Confiscated assets amounted to about 30 million, while for the period 2011 to 2012  was taken only about 5.6 million ( a decline of about 80%).

Lately BiH citizens witnessed numerous arrests and announced investigations in cases of high corruption, but are absent epilogues of these cases, which clearly proves that the fight against corruption in BiH is only demagogic and no real results.

The negative trend of justice efficiency continues for years, which indicates the presence of systemic corruption in BiH which obstruct any progress and or change, reflecting the end of the work of the judiciary.