OSCE provides guidelines for solving corruption issue in BiH

Photo: Facebook/OSCE Mission to BiH

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The OSCE Mission to BiH presented on Wednesday its Trial Monitoring Assessment of Corruption Cases in BiH, which is also the first analysis of this kind carried out in BiH. The report constitutes one of the main outputs of the Mission’s Project on Assessing Needs of Judicial Response to Corruption through Monitoring of Criminal Cases, which was initiated in October 2016 with the support of the US Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger, who presented the report along with Head of the OSCE Mission to BiH Bruce Berton, said that corruption is a phenomenon that lies at the heart of so many problems in our societies.
"It weakens economies, undermines democracy and the rule of law. It erodes the public’s trust in government,” said Greminger, adding: “Combating corruption is a long-term process that requires bold leadership, a change of values and action by all of us.”

Berton emphasized that the most important recommendation from the report refers to necessity to harmonize laws at entity and state levels.

The core findings of this report are based on the monitoring of 67 corruption cases which have been completed by the domestic judicial system in the period between January 2010 and September 2017. Although they do not profess to represent a comprehensive overview of all relevant features characterizing the processing of corruption cases in
BiH, based on its extensive experience in monitoring and analysis of complex categories of cases, the Mission asserts that these findings represent a solid baseline for the assessment of the quality and effectiveness of corruption case processing.

Photo: Facebook/OSCE Mission to BiH

The report concludes at Chapter IV with a set of recommendations that propose feasible measures that, if implemented, would adequately strengthen the role and capacity of the judiciary in the fight against corruption. Considering that the issues identified in the report concern the capacities of legislation, institutions and individual judges
and prosecutors, the recommendations are addressed to the legislative, executive and judicial authorities at all levels in BiH.

US Ambassador to BiH Maureen Cormack said during the presentation of the report that corruption is cancer of BiH society, which erodes heart and soul of the country. She also said it was about time to take concrete measures, stressing that the OSCE approached the analysis of the corruption issue in BiH in a very practical way, providing concrete and clear guidelines for solving this problem. “I call on entire judicial system in BiH, I refer to judges and prosecutors here, but also representatives of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) of BiH to seriously accept findings form this report and to approach solving of this problem”, she concluded.

Photo: Facebook/OSCE Mission to BiH

Head of the EU Delegation to BiH Lars-Gunnar Wigemark also addressed the event, noting that “corrupted judiciary cannot fight corruption” and adding that BiH must strengthen its judiciary.

HJPC President Milan Tegeltija noted that, besides this report’s recommendations, the recommendations from the EU’s reports refer exactly to organized crime and corruption, adding that he believes all this combined together will be one good tool for fight against corruption. “Over the past several years the work of police agencies in BiH has been focusing on fight against corruption. I call on the OSCE to think about expanding the monitoring of corruption cases not only on judiciary but on police agencies as well”, Tegeltija added.

Photos: Facebook/OSCE Mission to BiH