Croatian Justice Minister Ivan Malenica on Monday announced amendments to the Criminal Procedure Act and a meeting with his Bosnian counterpart on a bilateral agreement which makes it possible to serve a prison sentence in the other country.
Last Thursday, after former Dinamo football club coach Zoran Mamic went to Bosnia and Herzegovina and requested to serve his Croatian sentence there, Malenica asked Croatia’s Supreme Court president and chief state prosecutor to say if existing legislation is sufficient for deciding on precautionary measures against a defendant.
Speaking to the press today, he said they informed him that they would propose certain amendments as soon as possible so that “together, via a working group, we can propose in the shortest time possible amendments to the Criminal Procedure Act to prevent such cases from happening again.”
Malenica said he would organise a meeting with the BiH justice minister as soon as possible to discuss and revise the sentence serving agreement if there were problems in its application.
“The point of that agreement is not to avoid serving a sentence in the other state but to allow persons who have dual citizenship to serve their sentence in that state.”
Zoran Mamic was recently sentenced to four years and eight months in prison in a case in which his brother Zdravko was also sentenced to prison. Both have Croatian and BiH citizenship.
Malenica recalled that a day before his ruling was delivered, Zdravko Mamic too left Croatia for BiH and was since then out of the reach of Croatian authorities.
The minister said this was not the only case in which convicts with dual citizenship managed to avoid serving their prison sentences in Croatia.
This shows that this is a systemic problem and such situations justifiably undermine people’s trust in the justice system and the perception of its efficiency and equity, Malenica said.