Transparency International files charges against BiH Chief Prosecutor

NEWS 21.07.202315:49 0 komentara

Transparency International in Bosnia and Herzegovina submitted a report to the Disciplinary Prosecutor’s Office against Milanko Kaganić, the Chief Prosecutor of the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who assigned the vast majority of cases outside the TCMS automatic management system during the past year, the same reason his predecessor in this position, Gordana Tadić, was dismissed. Pročitaj više

After the appeal procedure, the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina submitted to Transparency International the data on the number of cases in which the chief prosecutor made presignations, i.e., assigned cases outside of the automatic management system, and the data show that in 2022 the number of presignations is greater than the total number of cases that this prosecution worked on.

This practically means that TCMS is rarely used and that subjects are almost never assigned automatically. Specifically, in 2021, in which Gordana Tadić was dismissed due to bypassing the TCMS, the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina had 1,499 cases and a total of 1,434 presignations, although multiple presignations in one case are possible, if several prosecutors are working on it. During 2022, the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina had 1,473 cases and a total of 2,276 presignations, i.e., cases in which the chief prosecutor assigned a case to the prosecutor bypassing the automatic management system.

TI BiH reminds that Article 8 of the Rulebook on the System for Automatic Case Management in Prosecutor’s Offices (TCMS) stipulates that the distribution of cases to prosecutors is to be conducted automatically, as a measure to reduce corruption risks. Also, according to the conclusion of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2014, all chief prosecutors were tasked to ensure the assignment of cases through TCMS in their institutions. The chief prosecutor has the right to assign a case to another prosecutor if there are reasons for it, granting this as an exception and not a rule, meaning the fact that the number of assignments is greater than the total number of cases in the work may indicate serious omissions in the work of the chief prosecutor.

Also, there is a reason to suspect that the Chief Prosecutor of BiH acted contrary to the provisions of the Rulebook and the Conclusion of the HJPC and committed the disciplinary offences of “negligence or inattention in the performance of official duties” and “failure, for unjustified reasons, to act in accordance with the decisions, orders or requests of the Council” from the Law on the HJPC.

This behaviour is contrary to the provisions of the Code of Ethics for Prosecutors, and it should also be recalled the Joint Opinion of the Venice Commission and the Council of Europe – Directorate for Human Rights (DHR) of the General Directorate for Human Rights and the Rule of Law, which emphasizes that, in order to protect the right to independent and impartial judicial and prosecutorial action, the allocation of cases within courts and prosecutor’s offices should follow objective, predetermined criteria.

Transparency International BiH recalls that the Disciplinary Commission of the HJPC of BiH has already conducted and legally concluded disciplinary proceedings against the former Chief Prosecutor Gordana Tadić, as well as against some other Chief Prosecutors in BiH for the same offences in which disciplinary measures were imposed.

It is important to note that the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina repeatedly refused to provide TI BIH with data on the number of presignations, as was the case in 2018 and 2019 when it was claimed that the accurate statistics were not kept, so the information was provided only after the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina passed judgments in favour of TI BiH. This year, the data on presignatures was submitted only after a complaint was filed, because the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH initially claimed that the request was not precisely formulated.