Bosnian Prosecutors Could Lose an Important Tool against Serious Crime, EU Warns

The European Union urged Bosnian government to amend the country’s criminal procedure code before the top court declares its rules on undercover police work and surveillance void, leaving prosecutors without essential means of gathering evidence in cases of the most severe crimes.

“These amendments are necessary in order to implement a BiH Constitutional Court decision that requires stricter legal regime, i.e. use and control of Special Investigate Measures in criminal proceedings. Without amendments, the BiH Constitutional Court may quash the current CPC provisions for not yet being aligned with BiH Constitution within the deadline of 6 months from the day these were declared unconstitutional. The Constitutional Court will decide by the end of March, either to quash these provisions or allow more time for the legislator to adopt the amendments,” the European Union mission to Bosnia said in a stark warning.

“If the legislator only adopts partial solutions or the Constitutional Court quashes the existing provisions as being unconstitutional, BiH Prosecutors will be deprived of one of the major tools to effectively fight against the most serious crime. The direct consequence of both such scenarios would be impunity of those who commit those crimes.”

Special investigative measures include the use of undercover police personnel, communication interception, surveillance and deployment of informants.

“They must restricted solely to that which is necessary in a democratic society, i.e. ensuring the proportionality between the right to privacy of individuals and security needs of the country,” the EU mission said.

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