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War Crimes

EU slams on the Balkan War Crimes Investigations

NEWS09 Oct 14

The latest report of the progress of the EU said that Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia are making progress slow and unacceptable for war crimes.

Marija Ristic
BIRN – Belgrade

A report released Wednesday by the European Commission, which examined the progress made by the countries of the Western Balkans to the EU, said that the rule of law remains the most problematic issue for all four countries, while it was not doing enough to prosecute those responsible for crimes conflicts in the 1990s.

A reluctance to investigate senior officials mentioned as a serious problem in most countries.

The report said that Bosnia and Herzegovina continues to handle the huge domestic cases of war crimes and national strategy to deal with war crimes, but the pace is still too slow.

Prosecution offices have recruited more staff, but “proper funding for adequate staffing levels in prosecutors’ offices and the courts remains a problem to be solved urgently to ensure timely progress and accumulated benefit issues,” said in the.

The report said that the EU mission for rule of law in Kosovo, EULEX, to continue the investigation and prosecution of war crimes in Kosovo because the judiciary are not able to do.

“Local judiciary is not yet able to follow this type issues,” the report said.

He also expressed concerns about the threats and intimidation in Kosovo.

“Intimidation of judges and prosecutors in the media and the lack of an effective response by institutions continue to be a serious concern,” it said.

Also, there was insufficient political support for the investigation of war crimes and missing persons, the report said that witnesses were threatened with depriving them from giving testimony.

“Threat of witnesses continues to be a concern, though police have made progress in providing witness protection”, reported.

The report also raised a series of concerns about Montenegro’s efforts to address war crimes, saying they were “not demonstrated serious efforts to address impunity.

After the latest discounts and lighter sentences by the court of Montenegro, the report stressed that the country needs to press charges against those who had power of command in war crimes.

“Montenegro needs to intensify efforts to combat impunity for war crimes and investigation, prosecution and punishment of war crimes according to international standards. All remaining charges of war crimes should be strictly adhered to. Montenegro should provide victims of war crimes access to justice and redress, “the report said.

While the report cited that although Serbia has opened four new investigations, had filed charges against ten persons were convicted and 13 others, senior commanders are still avoided prosecution.

“Despite continued efforts by the war crimes tribunal, the number of investigations against senior remains low and the courts continue to give light sentences for these cases. Only a few victims of war crimes have handy access to compensation under the current legal framework, “it said.

It also criticized Serbia has not done enough to witness protection and assistance provided to the victims.

“There are serious problems in the witness protection system that have not been resolved and there is improved support for victims,” ​​the report said.

He also demanded that the four Balkan countries to do more to resolve the fate of 11 thousand people missing from the wars of the 1990s, calling “for greater political commitment and new efforts” to obtain the problem solution.

“The lack of information in new areas and the difficulties in identifying the remains exhumed persons continue to be key issues. Lack of political support seems to exacerbate fact, no new information for the location of missing persons, “the report said.




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