EU Conference ‘Assets Seizure as Instrument in Fight Against Crime’ Yesterday in Sarajevo

eu1The EU Support to Law Enforcement Project presented a set of minimum legal standards in the field of seizure of illegally gained assets in BiH at the Conference Assets Seizure as Instrument in Fight against Crime” held yesterday in Sarajevo, announced the EU Delegation to B&H. The set of minimum standards is the result of the Working Group formed by the Project, which utilized knowledge and experience of police officials, prosecutors, judges, representatives of the Ministries of Justice and academic community in BiH.

The adoption of these amendments would harmonise legal provisions at all levels in BiH.

“We strongly believe that translating these minimum legal standards into existing and new legislation is necessary to develop effective asset recovery structures throughout the country,“ said Brigitte Kuchar, Programme Manager of the EU Delegation to BiH.

Harmonisation of legal provisions will prevent different interpretations of this legal institute and inconsistent application of procedures for financial investigations and seizure of illegally gained assets in BiH. “Furthermore, It will remove obstacles for cooperation between police, prosecutors and courts in BiH and enhance possiblities for the international cooperation,“ said Karl Lesjak, Project Team Leader.

Mladen Ćavar, Deputy Minister of Security of BiH noted that the existence and application of this measure complies with one of the most important principles of criminal law – no one can keep proceeds of crime.

“Seizure of illegally gained assets represents one of the most efficient measures in the fight against organised crime and corruption. The goal of criminal organisations is to multiply capitals: so what is better threat than a legal instrument resulting in the confiscation of their profit.”

Once harmonised, the issue of seizure of illegally gained assets in BiH will be in line with the draft Directive of the European Commission on Freezing and confiscation of proceeds of crime from March 2012.

The EU Support to Law Enforcement Project is funded by the EU in the amount of 7 Million EUR, from the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA 2010). The project has started on 2 May 2012 and it will continue until 30 April 2014. The project consortium partners include the Ministries of Interior of the Republic of Austria, Republic of Slovenia, Hungary and of the Land Brandenburg of the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), and Transparency International BiH (as an Associate). Beneficiary partners are BiH law enforcement agencies at state, entity, cantonal and Brčko District level.

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