Mandate of international judges extended in Bosnia

Valentin Inzko acted after local judicial officals said Bosnia, 14 years after its war, could face judicial chaos with hundreds of prosecutions in limbo unless foreign jurists remained at Bosnia's state court.

Mandate of international judges extended in Bosnia

Bosnia's international envoy extended the mandate of foreign judges and prosecutors on Monday, despite objections from Bosnian Serbs.

Valentin Inzko acted after local judicial officals said Bosnia, 14 years after its war, could face judicial chaos with hundreds of prosecutions in limbo unless foreign jurists remained at Bosnia's state court.

The continuation of a foreign legal presence for another three years once again sparked some pbjections by Bosnian Serbs who attacked on Muslims, Croatians during 1992-95 war that killed 100,000.

The ethnically mixed national parliament declined in September to extend the term of the foreign lawyers after Serb deputies accused them of bias against Serbs and said their investigations were politically motivated.

Outside jurists were brought in to help Bosnia's state court when it was opened in 2002 by the office of international High Representative that oversees Bosnia's recovery. They are seen as a guarantee of the court's independence.

The court has a war crimes chamber and an organised crime department.

In his decision, Inzko, Bosnia's High Representative who can impose laws and fire obstructive officials, cited Bosnia's international obligations towards the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague.

He said however that foreigners at the court's department for organised crime and corruption would stay on only as advisors.

Postwar Bosnia is made up of two autonomous and rival regions, the Serb Republic and the Muslim-Croat federation, which are joined via a weak central government.

Reuters
Last Mod: 15 Aralık 2009, 08:52
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