Judges and prosecutors destroyed the judicial system of Bosnia and Herzegovina, state judge Branko Peric said in N1's current affairs magazine Pressing, adding that judicial officials are appointed on grounds of family, friendly and political relations.
According to him, the international community is the only that can solve this situation.
“The system is such that the parliaments and executive authority cannot but the international community can. (High Representative Valentin) Inzko can do that. Inzko is the only who has a solution in his hands. Is he going to use it or not, probably not,” said Peric, referring to the international community's administrator in Bosnia, who was appointed to oversee implementation of the 1995 peace agreement and was assigned with special powers to impose laws and decisions.
“If I were him, I would use it (the solution). I would immediately dissolve the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council, call a new election, pass new law where I would determine the liability of the Council and would separate the HJPC to prosecutorial and judicial. It is unnatural that prosecutors elect judges and that they take part together,” said Peric, also a member of the Council, the state body overseeing the work of Bosnia's judiciary and appointing judges and prosecutors.
“We must ensure to have a new composition of the HJPC because the current one is obviously unable to manage the system. All decisions they have passed were scandalous, every election was a scandal and every other one will be,” he added.
The Council came in the spotlight the last month after a local media outlet, Zurnal.info, published a story on alleged corruption affair involving HJPC President Milan Tegeltija.
A secretly recorded video, published along with the article, showed Tegeltija, businessman Nermin Alesevic and state police officer Marko Pandza, who acted as a middleman in the meeting of the HJPC President and the businessman.
The video appears to be showing Alesevic handing the money to Pandza but does not contain footage of Tegeltija taking it over. Tegeltija cannot be heard asking for any money directly. He can only be heard asking for the case number and the name of the prosecutor.
Tegeltija denied all accusations but the state prosecutors formed a case and summoned him for interrogation, as a witness.
Speaking for N1, Tegeltija said there was nothing unusual or wrong to meet a citizen and hear his complaints. However, he stressed, he never showed in this or any other case that he was biased.
State judge Peric claims the opposite. Having contact with parties in a trial is “inappropriate,” according to him.
“That's something impermissible. Don't forget, Tegeltija is primarily a judge and then a member and the President of the HJPC. His mandate of the judge did not end. Ethical code and code for judges still apply on him,” he stressed.
Asked if this affair will end as soon as the interest of media and public is gone, Peric replied that this perfectly fits “the fogging project.”
“You can see that the HJPC President took a leave, nobody knows for how long or what is going to happen. I saw the footage of a protest in Prague. That's the last resort. Citizens must react in a way. The justice is the last hope, people in Bosnia and Herzegovina are left without justice, they no longer trust the judicial institutions. This is a hopeless system. Citizens must do something about it,” emphasised Peric adding that citizens have “the street” as their last remaining solution.
“There is no other way except a reaction from society. Only the question remains how is it going to happen and when. Something has to happen. Justice and judiciary are in a serious collapse in the world, not only here. Political influence is not judiciary's only problem,” he added.