Slow justice ceases to be justice
08.03.2012 Beograd

Slow justice ceases to be justice

Slow justice ceases to be justice
Serbia has defeated organized crime to a great extent, but it still "has to face a fierce fight against corruption," said Serbian Public Prosecutor Zagorka Dolovac.


She believes that Serbian judiciary is fully ready for the improvements required in further European integrations by Chapter 23 related to the judiciary and the rule of law.

Asked if Serbian judiciary is under political influence and if it is able to eradicate corruption, Dolovac said that Serbia has defeated organized crime to a great extent, but it still "has to face a fierce fight against corruption which is based on the connection between criminal networks and government bodies".

"I have repeatedly said that there is no calculation and no matter how much one wishes to influence prosecutors’ or judges’ work, I am sure that these attempts will fail. Judicial corruption is currently at the lowest level in its recent history. And if there is any corruption in the judiciary, we are not to blame politicians but ourselves. A honorable judiciary official cannot be corrupted by any political wing", said the prosecutor.

Dolovac added that cases like Kolubara, vaccines procurement and others which involve "well-known names" are resolved, that the charges came into force in most cases, and that other investigations are almost concluded.

"The new Criminal Procedure Code gives hope that procedures will be effective, because slow justice ceases to be justice," she said.

She stressed that Serbia wants to implement European standards because they are "good for us, and not because we are forced to do it”.

"The situation in the countries that much faster joined the EU judiciary system is similar or worse than here. We are still struggling with the relics of the past, with the initial condition that has completely degraded judges and prosecutors during the nineties, with tired system which depended on politics and not the profession, with the time characterized by the practice of arresting or killing the political opponents and journalists who were seeking the truth," said Dolovac.

Serbian prosecutor repeated that resolving the murders of journalists Dada Vujasinovic, Slavko Curuvija and Milan Pantic is priority and that journalists who were killed because they were braver than others should not be forgotten.

"There has been a great progress in some of the cases, but other are still at the standstill. What I guarantee is that we are doing our best, we are trying to accomplish everything that has been omitted at the time of and after these crimes, we will not stop and the answers that the journalists' murder cases have not been solved will not satisfy us. Each of these cases is a specific in certain way and traces lead to the darkest depths of the regime of the nineties", said Dolovac.

Speaking about the recent arrests on the narcotics market, Dolovac explained that for one year the Prosecutor's Office for Organized Crime and the BIA have observed the criminal group of Mica Nikolic from Novi Sad which was the supplier of the domestic drug market, mostly Novi Sad, but other Serbian cities as well.

Dolovac stated that drugs originate from Albania and were transported through Kosovo.  More than 85 kilograms of skunk was seized, a considerable quantity of arms and ammunition was found and ten persons were arrested.

Commenting on the serious traffic accident in which two sisters were killed and another girl died of the consequences while the driver was not immediately detained, Dolovac said that as soon as she had received the information that the driver was not detained her obligation was to issue the detention order.

"As the public prosecutor I will take all measures to ensure that those within the prosecution that had made mistakes are punished according to the law," said Dolovac and stressed that it is unacceptable that the driver was not immediately apprehended.

author: Jelka Jovanović source: Novi magazin
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