Departments in the Prosecutor’s Office
Department I (Special Department for War Crimes)
The Special Department for War Crimes was formed after the issuance of a package of laws adopted by the Parliament of BiH in December 2004. These laws were necessary for the ICTY cases to be prosecuted by national judicial institutions, as well as for taking over the role of the ICTY Rules of the Road Unit which was, prior to its closure, reviewing war crimes cases before national courts could issue a decision to arrest the suspects of war crimes committed in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Special Department for War Crimes is responsible for prosecution of cases of war crimes committed in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the 1992-1995 war conflicts
The Special Department for War Crimes of the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH commenced its work on 9 March 2005, and inauguration was attended by numerous officials of the BiH judiciary, ICTY, and international community.
The Special Department for War Crimes within the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH is working on several types of cases:
· Cases that ICTY transferred to the national judiciary pursuant to Rule 11bis of its Rules of Procedure and Evidence. These are cases in which the Tribunal confirmed the indictment, but did not start the trial, and the trial chamber of the Tribunal rendered a final decision to transfer the case to the national judiciary for further action.
11 bis Cases the transfer of which began in 2005 were completed with convictions for all persons involved.
· Category 2 cases of the ICTY in which the Tribunal conducted an investigation, but did not issue an indictment.
In all of these cases the prosecutorial decisions were made by the end of 2015.
· All cases initiated in the Prosecutor’s Office after the formation of the Special Department for War Crimes.
By 1 June 2016 the Special Department for War Crimes has indicted a total of 606 persons for war crimes and serious violations of international humanitarian law, and by doing so the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina became an institution with the highest number of defendants in the international context after World War II and the Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals.
(Special Department for War Crimes)
HEAD OF DEPARTMENT AND DEPUTY CHIEF PROSECUTOR
SECTION I SECTION II SECTION III
Sections are managed by Heads of Sections, and there are 8 to 12 Prosecutors in each Section*
The work in Sections covers different geographical areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
* Due to the volume of pending cases Prosecutors may be assigned to work on other cases, and Prosecutors from other Departments may be assigned these cases if needed.
DEPUTY CHIEF PROSECUTOR AND THE HEAD OF DEPARTMENT
Sarajevo, part of Eastern Bosnia including Foca, Herzegovina and the Neretva Valley
Northwestern Bosnia, part of Posavina and Central Bosnia
Eastern Bosnia, part of Posavina, Srebrenica
The Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina, together with the newly founded Missing Persons Institute of Bosnia and Herzegovina and International Commission on Missing Persons, has recognized the problem of subject-matter jurisdiction in carrying out exhumations by District and Cantonal Prosecutor’s Offices in the course of 2008. In a meeting organized by the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina and held on 28 October 2008, which was attended by the Chief Prosecutor of the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH, Chief Prosecutor of the Prosecutor’s Office of FBiH, Chief Prosecutor of the Prosecutor’s Office of Republika Srpska and Chief Prosecutor of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Brčko District of BiH, as well as by representatives of the Missing Persons Institute of Bosnia and Herzegovina and International Commission on Missing Persons, it was agreed that, in the period to follow, the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina would receive all information pertaining to missing persons and, in case the need for exhumation arises, submit to the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina requests to issue exhumation orders.
The Chief Prosecutor of the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH issued the decision according to which, starting from 1 January 2011, all exhumation and re-exhumation requests were to be handled at the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH and through the Court of BiH. In this manner, provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina on subject-matter and territorial jurisdiction in handling the cases of exhumations of persons killed as a result of war crimes will finally be complied with.
Appropriate measures have been undertaken by the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina in terms of preparing all technical and logistic requirements for the execution of future exhumation requests. The acute problem, namely lack of space, is being reflected upon this sphere of activities of the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well, as it is to be expected that the number of material documentation and evidence resulting from the execution of such orders will be increased, and these will be stored in the files and archive of the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina in future.