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Ambassador Wigemark: Citizens of BiH deserve a professional and independent judiciary

Head of EU Delegation and EU Special Representative in BiH, Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark visited on Friday, 1 December rehabilitated Cantonal Court and Cantonal Prosecutor’s Office in Mostar.

The Court and the Prosecutor’s Office in Mostar were reconstructed last year with IPA funds in the amount of 863,000 euros. As Ambassador Wigemark said, the money of taxpayers of the member states helped restore the office premises, the purchase of equipment and the installation of the electricity grid, which provided much better conditions for the effective proceedings of those two institutions. It is important to note that the rehabilitation of the Cantonal Court and Prosecutor’s Office in Mostar is part of the wider EU assistance package, of EUR 20 million, for construction, rehabilitation and modernization of Courts and Prosecutors’ Offices throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina in support of strengthening the rule of law, professional and independent judiciary which, as Wigemark said, the citizens of this country deserve.

After the meeting with Chief Cantonal Public Prosecutor Zdenko Kovač, Deputy President of the Cantonal Court Zoran Krtalić and their associates, and visiting both renovated buildings, Ambassador Wigemark thanked his hosts and underscored the importance of judicial independence. “It is not easy to be a prosecutor or judge or legal professional in any country. There is a lot of criticism that there is too much political interference in the judiciary in this country. We know that and that has to change. That has to improve. Judiciary has to become more independent and that is essential for this country if it wishes to join the European Union,” said Wigemark.

The reconstruction the Cantonal Court and the Prosecutor’s Office in Mostar is the continuation of the European Union efforts to enhance the efficiency of judiciary and improve the services for citizens, through the provision of better working conditions, improvement of security aspect and provision of support to vulnerable witnesses and underage participants in investigative and court proceedings.