OCTOBER 16 2012 14:12h
ZAGREB, Oct 16 (Hina) - Reporting on the work of his office in 2011 in the Croatian parliament, the chief public prosecutor Mladen Bajić on Tuesday said that it was urgently necessary to resolve the problem of information leaks in criminal procedures by amending the Criminal Procedure Law (ZKP) so that investigations are no longer considered confidential or that a former provision be reinstated in the law that would prohibit releasing confidential content in the media.
He repeated that the existing ZKP had given public prosecutors the necessary instruments to prosecute crime and corruption but that the law also had flaws. It is almost impossible to determine where information leaks are occurring, he said.
"If we have in mind all the stakeholders in a case or who benefits from the leaks, then we could come up with a totally different conclusion. After the investigation is completed all stakeholders have the right to see the entire file and dispose of it in the same way as the public prosecutor", Bajic said.
Reporting on trends in crime in 2011, he said that number of indictments had grown by 3 percent with a total of 90,631 indictments. Of that 54,401 cases were resolved which is on par to the level of cases resolved in previous years.
The types of crimes being committed are similar to previous years with property offences prevailing followed by drug abuse.
Of the cases handled by the public prosecutors, 47.6 percent ended in charges and 87.3 percent of these ended in sentences.
Measures taken by the office resulted in 255 mln illegally gained kuna being 'frozen' and some 80 mln kuna being confiscated by the first-instance courts in 1020 cases.
The Office for the Suppression of Corruption and Organised Crime (USKOK) received 1184 notices and rejected 716 of these. In 58 cases indictments were raised and with a further 292 indictments following investigations. The courts brought sentences on 97 percent of the cases referred to the courts by USKOK.
"This shows that USKOK initiates proceedings only after careful consideration and collecting sufficiently strong evidence", Bajic said. (Hina)