“I’m writing you with the wish to continue the joint cooperation with the aim of building a better judicial system and an effective normative framework in the area of criminal law,” Minister Ivan Malenica wrote in a letter a day after the prime minister claimed that it is necessary to clear up whether the existing legal framework is good enough for issuing precautionary measures or whether omissions are made.
“These days we have witnessed a situation where a convicted person, prior to being sent to serve his sentence, left the territory of the Republic of Croatia and is asking to serve his sentence in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This refers to Zoran Mamić, who was convicted to 4 years and 8 months in prison, in a case in which his brother Zdravko Mamić was sentenced to prison too. I remind you that one day prior to the delivery of a trial verdict, Zdravko Mamić too left Croatia and since then he is unreachable to Croatian authorities,” Malenica wrote in the letter.
He underscored that this isn’t the only case where convicted felons with dual citizenship have managed to avoid serving their sentences in Croatia.
Situations which undermine citizens’ trust in the system
“From the above it transpires that this is a systemic problem, that is situations which recur and which will probably occur in the future,” said Malenica, adding that these situations justifiably undermine the trust of citizens in the judicial system and of the perception of the judiciary’s efficiency and equity.
“They are also in contradiction to the objective of the criminal procedure which is carried out to determine, as stipulated by the law, whether a crime was committed and if it was, to punish the perpetrator or apply another appropriate measure. In situations like this, that purpose, from the aspect of applying punishment, is brought into question and it is not certain whether it will be met entirely or at all,” said Malenica.
In his letter, Malenica asks what the executive authority can do to enable the judiciary to ensure that convicted felons cannot leave the country to avoid serving their sentence.
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