HJPC Vice-President condemns US Embassy meeting with judiciary representatives

NEWS 15.05.2019 14:53
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Source: N1

The Vice-President of a special council that monitors the work of Bosnia’s judiciary condemned on Wednesday a meeting between some of her colleagues with the US Ambassador and the USAID representative in the country, saying their discussion over potential changes regarding the institution represents interference in Bosnia’s judiciary.

US Ambassador Eric Nelson and the Assistant Administrator for USAID’s (United States Agency for International Development) Bureau for Europe and Eurasia, Brock Bierman, met with representatives of Bosnia’s judiciary to discuss potential changes of the law that regulates the election of judges and prosecutors by the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC).

The HJPC appoints judges and prosecutors and disciplines them and Nelson and Bierman spoke to HJPC member Goran Nezirovic, State Court Judge Branko Peric and Chief Prosecutor in the Tuzla Canton, Tomislav Ljubic about potential changes to the law which they said would ensure a more transparent process and would thus strengthen rule of law in the country.

HJPC Vice President, Ruzica Jukic, said it was “baffling that any embassy” discusses the law with any member of the HJPC.

“No embassy has the right to interfere in the election process of the chief prosecutor or any other judicial position, nor to impose its solutions,” Jukic said.

She explained that she did not know anything about the meeting because “my colleague Nezirovic didn’t want to talk about it.”

“I condemn this move by the US Embassy. Absolutely. For me, this represents interfering in the election process,” she said, adding that since politicians are not allowed to interfere in the process, neither should any embassy be.

“I cannot regard this as a well-intentioned move,” she said, saying it is wrong to “bypass and not invite vice-presidents, as we are the leaders of the HJPC” but to invite “some third-grade servants.”

She said the President of the HJPC, Milan Tegeltija, was also not invited.

“I believe that, if they mean well, they will come to the HJPC,” she said, adding that she considers “any invitation for individuals to go to the US Embassy” as “not well-intentioned.”