Press release: Instead of praises, prosecution reports to be realistic

Reports on the work of the Supreme State Prosecutor’s Office mostly consist of statistics and ignore concrete problems in the work of this institution, although a number of issues in its work are indicated by the expert community.

The conclusions from the last report of the State Prosecutor’s Office from 2012 are, in fact, positive comments and praises of the successful work of this institution, while the recommendations for improvement of its work are reduced to the need for more counselors, improvement of co-operation with the police and renovating premises of the Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office in Kotor.

On the other hand, comparing the various annual reports it is impossible to monitor long-term trends for specific categories of information such as the number of criminal charges or convictions, given the fact that only in rare cases these reports provide comparative data in relation to the previous year.

The reports do not provide an analysis of the structure of the criminal charges filed by the state authorities, like Police Administration, Customs Administration, Tax Administration, Directorate for Anti-Corruption Initiative, Administration for Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing Terrorism, State Audit Institution, etc, nor the concrete data on the decisions and procedures of the Prosecution in respect to these charges. It is also impossible to find specific data on joint actions and cooperation with the police and other state authorities.

A more detailed review of the budget funds allocated for the work of this institution are also missing from its annual reports, as well as the impact assessment of the approved funds to the efficiency of its work.

Reports on the work of this institution therefore should be improved, first of all, through providing detailed review of the activities undertaken and the results achieved in the cases, with special emphasis on the cases that are of interest to the public. For example, one report of Special Prosecutor’s Office for Organized Crime in Serbia provides detailed information on the 35 most significant cases, including 7 pages long description of the case “Balkan Warrior”, which refers to actions undertaken to collect evidence for all the charges brought against Darko Saric’s criminal group.

Furthermore, realistic consideration of the problems in the work of this institution is needed, which would take into account findings of independent experts, international and national organizations, followed by proposing measures to address the identified problems.

The State Prosecutor’s Office reports should display level of established collaboration with other state authorities by providing information on the number of cases in which the cooperation had been established, the number of exchanged data and the number of actions undertaken by state authorities at the request of the State Prosecutor’s Office.

These are the main recommendations and findings of the analysis of structure of reports of State Prosecutor’s Office conducted by Institute Alternative (IA) in the framework of the project dedicated to strengthening inter-institutional cooperation in the criminal justice system of Montenegro.

The project was supported by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) of the State Department through Embassy of the United States in Montenegro within the “Criminal Justice Civil Society Program”.

Dina Bajramspahić
Policy Analyst

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