Bosnia Court Ruling in Dragicevic Case Confirms Flaws in Investigation

Three months later, the District Prosecution in Banja Luka ordered an investigation against unidentified persons for murder. The investigation was taken over by the State Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Grand Chamber of the Court said it agreed that there had been a violation of the appellant's right both under the Bosnian constitution and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Series of errors may have compromised probe

Several thousand citizens of Banja Luka, Prijedor, Modrica, Tuzla, Zenica, Sarajevo and other cities of Bosnia gathered in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 21 April 2018 asking for justice for 21 year old David Dragicevic, whose body was found in the river Vrbas. Photo: EPA-EFE/VLADIMIR STOJKOVIC

In its decision, the court listed a series of flaws in the investigation carried out by the Banja Luka Prosecution that could have compromised the investigation.

First, it emphasized that it took 100 days for the Prosecution to open an official investigation. It further states that the Prosecution failed to explain why it waited for 100 days to order this, knowing that actions were already being undertaken, and adding that this caused public mistrust.

"The Constitutional Court recalls that in the case of such crimes, a prompt reaction right after the event itself is of utmost importance, so the Constitutional Court finds that such course of action is not consistent with an obligation arising from the Constitution of BiH and Article 2 of the European Convention," the decision said. Article 2 of the Convention refers to the right to life.

The Court does not assert that the delayed investigation is the reason why the murder has still not been...

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