The General Convention of the Supreme Court, comprising its chief justice and all the judges of the highest court in country, on Friday concluded that accusations against judges need to be investigated even if they are made by convicted persons, as judges must not be held hostage to unverified claims.
“It is in the interest of the judicial authorities and all citizens for all accusations of deviations, inappropriate and unlawful conduct that have been levelled publicly against individual judges, to be investigated, even if they are made by convicted persons, and if there are reasonable grounds for suspecting such conduct, the relevant procedures should be launched,” the Supreme Court said on Friday.
Former football mogul Zdravko Mamic, who was recently given a final verdict for siphoning money from the Dinamo football club and who fled to Bosnia and Herzegovina in mid-2018 before the trial judgement in his case was announced, has called out several judges for corruption, including Supreme Court Chief Justice Djuro Sessa.
After Mamic released photographs on social networks of him entertaining Osijek County Court judges Zvonko Vekic and Darko Kruslin, who were in charge of his case, the court’s chief justice recommended that the State Judicial Council dismiss the judges concerned.
Mamic then called on Judge Sessa, Osijek County Court Chief Justice Zvonko Vrban, as well as another judge at the court, Ante Kvesic, and High Misdemeanor Court judge Nediljko Boban to resign, saying that what happened to Kruslin and Vekic would happen to them as well.
The General Convention concluded that judges must not be held hostage to unverified and unverifiable accusations that are used publicly for unfounded attacks against all judges. The Convention considers that accusations against individual judges must not diminish the results of the work and credibility of all judges.
“Generalisations like that undermine the authority of the judicial authorities and directly or indirectly call for disrespect of the judicial authorities and judicial decisions,” the Supreme Court warned.
The court called on judges to continue performing their duties and behave in accordance with the law and Judicial Code of Ethics.
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