Feraget: “We are recording legal victories in the cases of Dzenan and David, but there is still no response from the state”

Lawyer Ifet Feraget claims that political control over the domestic judiciary does not allow resolving the cases of the murders of David Dragicevic and Dzenan Memic. He also believes that hiring foreign judges and prosecutors, who would supervise the work of the domestic judiciary, is the only way to improve the situation in that area.

Writes: eTrafika.net; Photo: G. Surlan

In the interview for eTrafica, Feraget, among other things, talks about who is to blame for the slow resolution of the Dragicevic and Memic cases, the responsibility of the international community for the bad situation in the BiH judiciary, the need for political engagement of people fighting for truth and justice in this country.

Did, and to what extent, the civil protests initiated due to the murders of two young men, David Dragicevic and Dzenan Memic, arouse people’s awareness that the situation in the judiciary must change?

The absolutely most important social and legal values ​​of any society are human rights and fundamental freedoms. The basic task of the state is to protect these most important social and legal values. This is, at the same time, a precondition for the existence of the rule of law and a democratic society. As in these two cases the state knowingly and intentionally distanced itself from the law and justice, I can openly say that the cover-up of the murder of Dzenan Memic by the prosecutors of the Sarajevo Cantonal Prosecutor’s Office and the Federal Prosecutor’s Office of the Federation of BiH, as well as the cover-up of David Dragicevic’s murder and the Republic Prosecutor’s Office of the Republika Srpska, represent the biggest debacle of the domestic judiciary.

Do the recent decisions of the Supreme Court of FBiH and the Constitutional Court of BiH in the mentioned two cases represent a step forward in resolving the murders of Dzenan and David?

Their decisions are proof that everything I have said in the previous five and a half years is true. This was confirmed by the Supreme Court of FBiH in its verdict of July 27, 2021, in the case of Memić, which determined that there was no evidence that the traffic accident happened at all. Also, this was confirmed by the Constitutional Court of BiH, which in the case of Dragicevic, after more than two years from the submission of the first appeal, accepted both my appeals and with its decision of June 23 this year found a violation of the right to life under Article 2 of the European Convention on human rights. Precisely because of these legal victories, the consciousness of the citizens was definitely awakened, but there was no response from the state, which has an obligation to protect everyone’s life, and thus to conduct an effective investigation in case of violent taking of life.

One gets the impression that the investigation into the murder of Dzenan Memic has “advanced” to a much greater extent and has begun to yield results than the case with the murder of David Dragicevic. What is the reason? Who is “blocking” the investigation in the Dragicevic case?

Thanks to the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH, the “investigation into the investigation” in the Memic case has already yielded certain results, and the opening of an investigation into the murder has been announced soon. In the Dragicevic case, we are still waiting for the beginning of the “investigation into the investigation”, and after that the investigation into the murder. So, after five and a half years in the Memic case, or three and a half years in the Dragicevic case, we still do not have an open investigation into the murder of these golden young men. The conclusion is more than clear. The goal of the judicial mafia is to protect the powerful people behind these murders and their cover-up, with the help of a policy that absolutely controls the work of the judiciary.

Are you disappointed with the (non) engagement of the international community, when it comes to putting pressure on domestic institutions in order to resolve these cases as quickly as possible?

Certainly, I am completely disappointed with the passivity of the international community. According to Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the state has no right to kill. It is obliged to investigate every suspicious death to the smallest detail and to take everything necessary to protect the lives of all its citizens and those who are on its territory. In these cases, prosecutors tried to cover up these obvious murders by conducting ineffective investigations, which is unprecedented audacity!

What do you see as a solution, if any?

The current situation in the judiciary can only be improved by hiring foreign judges and prosecutors, who would take over some kind of oversight. The responsibility of cantonal and federal prosecutors in Sarajevo and district and republic prosecutors in Banja Luka for intentional omissions in the Memic and Dragicevic cases, as well as the responsibility of police officers, can be determined in the short term, but political control over the judiciary does not allow it. During a recent interview with Al-Jazeera Balkans, Mr. Reinhard Pribe said that the Memic and Dragicevic cases had become test cases for the BiH judiciary, but also for restoring citizens’ trust in the judiciary, and that their adequate resolution must be one of the priorities of all deal with or intend to deal with the situation in BiH institutions, if the goal is to change the situation for the better. The new High Representative, Mr. Kristijan Schmidt, recently responded to my letter and thanked me for informing him of the situation in the Memic and Dragicevic cases and for the efforts made to achieve the rule of law, which he said he considered one of the key priorities for Bosnia and Herzegovina. I took this message very seriously and I hope to meet Mr. Schmidt soon.

What is your opinion on the removal of Milan Tegeltija from the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of BiH? Was this, as some claim, the first step towards the recovery of the domestic judiciary?

After the negative report of Mr. Pribe on the situation in our judiciary, conditions were created for Milan Tegeltija for professional reasons, as the first man in Bosnia and Herzegovina. judiciary, resign. That didn’t happen and that’s why I said that you can’t expect any progress from people who don’t acknowledge their own responsibility. This was followed by scandals due to which Milan Tegeltija resigned, under pressure from the international and domestic public.

Do you also support the removal of Gordana Tadić from the position of Chief Prosecutor?

When it comes to Ms. Tadic’s dismissal, things are completely different. Namely, in that case, the selective actions of the Office of the Disciplinary Prosecutor and the HJPC are obvious. Namely, the non-prosecution of prosecutors who tried to cover up the murders of Jenan and David, due to more than obvious and numerous disciplinary offenses that caused huge and irreparable damage to our judiciary, and the prosecution of Gordana Tadic just after the Prosecutor’s Office finally took over the Memic and Dragicevic cases , due to disciplinary violations for which it is possible to prosecute any other Chief Prosecutor, by not using the TCMS system for automatic assignment of cases and non-compliance with the security protocol, is only a confirmation that the Office of the Disciplinary Prosecutor and the HJPC have lost all credibility. it is best to show. The disciplinary proceedings against Gordana Tadić are not over and nothing should be prejudged yet.

The “Justice Movement”, a political organization formed on the basis of “Justice for David”, failed to achieve a significant result in last year’s local elections. Was the political engagement of the people, who were looking for the truth about the murder of the Banja Luka student, a “wrong step”?

In my opinion, the wrong political engagement of the people who have been leading this country for 30 years, who are advocating for covering up the murders of Dzenan Memic and David Dragicevic, is the wrong step, while the attempt of any political organization to contribute to clarifying these two cases , certainly cannot be labeled as a wrong step, as it is a struggle for the rule of law that is crucial to overcoming the status quo. It is the perception that the ruling politics, which covers up murders through its controlled media and bots, the political engagement of people who voluntarily but fighting like lions for the rule of law, persistently marks the ‘wrong step’ that is the best proof of the lack of democracy in society. jointly responsible. It’s up to us, I’d say.

In the previous days, some media speculated that you have political ambitions, ie that it is possible to be a candidate for a member of the Presidency of BiH in next year’s elections. Is there any truth in that?

I removed such dilemmas recently, as a guest on Mr. Amir Zukic’s show Pressing on N1 television, when I said that I had no political ambitions. I do what I know best, and politics obviously needs to be done by some younger, new people. These existing methuselahs are full of hats for all of us, because it is obvious where they are leading us.

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