"Balkan arrest warrant" against crime in region

A regional arrest warrant will be one of the main topics at the ministerial conference on combating organized crime, which is to open in Belgrade on Tuesday.

Source: Tanjug
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The event will be organized by the Serbian Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of the Interior.

The Ministry of Justice stressed that the regional arrest warrant would be the most powerful weapon in combating organized crime, because it would expand the territory on which criminals are denied shelter.

The warrant should also shorten the time-consuming process of extradition of criminals from the Western Balkans and Southeast Europe to 45 days.

State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice Slobodan Homen expects that a preliminary act, which would enable the "forming" of the warrant, will be signed during the two-day conference.

Such warrant already exists for all EU countries, and it solved the problem of criminal proceedings and prosecution of criminals, he stressed.

If the initiative for the regional arrest warrant gets political support, regional experts should, by end of 2011, write the text of a convention, modeled on the European arrest warrant, to which all interested countries could accede to.

The regional arrest warrant should actually be a court decision, issued by one country with the desire that another regional country arrests or extradites a criminal wanted in order to serve a sentence or be prosecuted.

According to the initiative advocated by the Serbian Ministry of Justice, the warrant would be applicable for all crimes which require imprisonment of more than three years, as well as for verdicts which refer to four-month prison sentences and up.

Serbia first presented its initiative at the regional conference held in Belgrade on October 4-5, 2010, and then again in Slovenia, at Brdo near Kranj, on April 15, 2011.

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