At least 172 warrants for suspects, accused or convicted of war crimes are currently active in courts at all levels, it was confirmed for the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network – BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).
When at the end of last year Sakib Mahmuljin did not show up to serve his eight-year prison sentence, for the victims it was an example and additional confirmation that BiH has a problem with unavailable persons in war crimes cases.
Namely, the former commander of the Third Corps of the Army of BiH was sentenced to eight years in prison for war crimes committed in 1995 in Vozuca and Zavidovici, but the domestic judiciary does not know where he is, so the State Court had to issue a warrant for him in November 2022.
This court also has the most active warrants in the country, according to data collected by BIRN BiH. In the State Court, they say that they have 50 indictments for war crimes against unavailable persons and 135 active warrants for suspects, accused and persons convicted of war crimes.
BIRN BiH previously wrote that indictments against unavailablepersons is an (un)solvable problem of the BiH judiciary and that the District Court in Doboj has 20 indictments for war crimes against persons who are unavailable to the prosecuting authorities.
The court in Doboj states that an international red warrant has been issued for 31 persons, which are currently active for accused and suspected persons.
The District Court in Trebinje, the Basic Court of the Brcko District, and the cantonal courts in Sarajevo, Livno, and Siroki Brijeg stated in their responses that they have no active cases for criminal acts of war crimes against unavailable persons.
BIRN BIH previously wrote about examples when Serbia granted citizenship to the accused before the sentencing for war crimes in BiH.
The Cantonal Court in Bihac issued four international warrants that are still active for the accused Slobodan Ris, Slavko Dotlicand Slavko Predojevic for war crimes against the civilian population, and Esed Abdagic for crimes against war prisoners.
Due to the legal obstacle to the extradition of persons who have citizenship of the countries to which they fled, as Murat Tahirovic, president of the Association of Victims and Witnesses of Genocide, explains, the only option left is to hand over the cases to neighboring countries, Detektor reports.