At the 20th Counselling in the field of Criminal Law in Neum, Bosnia and Herzegovina, which gathered nearly 400 judicial officials from BiH and the region, the topic of confiscation of proceeds of crime received particular attention.
The panel on this topic, organised by the Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative, the AIRE Centre and CPRC in the cooperation with the Association of Judges in Federation of BiH, as the host of the Counselling and the Judicial and Prosecutorial Training Centres of FBiH and RS, associations of judges, prosecutors and bar associations from all levels of jurisdiction in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“We presented an analysis of the application of the Law on Confiscation of Illegally Acquired Assets in the BiH entity of Federation of BiH from 2015 to 2022, which was an opportunity to discuss the course of action for advancing the practical application of this legal instrument in the judiciary. Experiences from BiH and from the entire region will guide us in achieving these goals. Today, the Agency for Management of Confiscated Property of Federation of BiH manages funds of approx. 2.5 million EUR, shares worth approx. 125.000 EUR, assets in the investment funds of approx. 400.000 EUR, motor vehicles worth approx. 150,000 EUR, real estate worth approx. 1.75 million EUR, while the lease of real estate has so far collected approx. 750.000 EUR. The Agency also manages the founding shares with a value of approx. 4.4 million EUR, and an additional 1.1 million EUR through the enforcement procedure. These figures indicate that the Law provides an adequate mechanism for the fight against organized crime and corruption and that it should be applied more consistently in an increased number of such cases”, said professor Eldan Mujanović.
Judge of the Cantonal Court in Sarajevo, Sanela Rondić spoke about examples of good practice in the application of legal regulations on confiscation of proceeds of crime through the analysis of the case ‘Emiran’, where the permanently confiscated assets amounted to 7 million EUR.
Presenting good practices from the region, Natasa Trninić, Deputy Prosecutor in the Special Prosecutor’s Office for the Organised Crime of Republic of Serbia, shared the experiences in the application of the Law on Confiscation of Assets, especially in terms of confiscation of assets from the “third parties”. Prosecutor Trninić clearly illustrated the importance of the effective financial investigation executed in cooperation with the specialised financial investigation body, as well as the utilisation of the evidence from the prior criminal investigation in cases of the extended confiscation of assets.
“When the victim of a crime is compensated with an adequate criminal sanction and the proceeds of crime are confiscated, only then we can send the clear message to the public that the crime does not pay,” emphasized Judge Rondić.
We also had the opportunity to go through the steps of identifying, monitoring and detecting criminally acquired property with the Prosecutor Feđa Fejzagić from the Sarajevo Canton Prosecutor’s Office, and we talked with lawyers Sabina Husejnagić and Dijana Hasić about security measures in the process of confiscating illegally acquired property.
At the end of the session, Prosecutor Merisa Nurkić from the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH spoke about the practices of determining property gain in criminal proceedings in cases of migrant trafficking. The panel ended with a lively discussion of judges, prosecutors and lawyers on the obstacles they face daily in working on cases of asset recovery, as well as the examples of the good practice.