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The Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina

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.


Amendments to the Rulebook on Internal Organization of the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH from 2021 brought changes related to the functioning of prosecution teams.
The Special Department for war crimes deals with the prosecution of perpetrators of crimes against humanity and values protected by international law from Chapter XVII of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina and, in an organizational sense, it performs its work through the functioning of prosecution teams established according to the geographic and regional structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Special Department for War Crimes is headed by two Deputy Chief Prosecutors.

The Special Department for war crimes has six teams formed according to the regional principle, distributed in three section:

  • Section I: Team 4 and Team 5
  • Team 1 and Team 2 - Section II Team 1 and Team 2 -
  • Team 3 and Team 6 - Section III Team 3 and Team 6

Teams formed according to the regional principle are as follows:

  • Team 1 - Northwestern Bosnia and part of Posavina
  • Team 2 - Central Bosnia
  • Team 3 - Eastern Bosnia (Drina Valley) and part of Posavina
  • Team 4 - Sarajevo and Eastern Bosnia including Foča
  • Team 5 - Western Herzegovina and Neretva Valley
  • Team 6 - Srebrenica.


Exhumation cases

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.


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Contact

ADDRESS OF THE PROSECUTOR’S
OFFICE OF BIH

Kraljice Jelene 88
71000 Sarajevo
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Phone: +387 (0) 33 483 700 
Fax: +387 (0) 33 483 840
info@tuzilastvobih.gov.ba

The Press Office:
Phone: +387 (0)33 483 751
Fax: +387 (0) 33 483 840

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