As of 1 October 2004, the BH State Court is to take over the process of determining whether there are grounds for prosecuting people suspected of war crimes. Of some 6,000 files it reviewed in the past eight years in accordance with the so-called Rules of the Road, the Tribunal gave the go ahead for the prosecution of 865 individuals. Of that number, only about 10 percent of the suspects have actually been brought to trial.

Florence Hartmann, spokesperson in the TribunalFlorence Hartmann, spokesperson in the Tribunal

In order to prevent politically motivated arrests and prosecutions in early 1996, the Rome Agreement established the so-called Rules of the Road, according to which judicial bodies in the BH Federation and Republika Srpska could only prosecute people suspected of war crimes for whom the ICTY determined, after analyzing their files, there were grounds for criminal prosecution. After eight years, as of 1 October 2004, the procedure established under the Rules of the Road will be transferred to the competency of a special service operating within the BH State Court.

Announcing that jurisdiction would move from The Hague to Sarajevo, OTP spokesperson Florence Hartmann gave basic information about the eight years of work of the section dealing with Rules of the Road cases. In that period, the OTP reviewed a total of 5,908 individual files submitted from BH. Most of the files, 3,792 of them, were submitted by Bosniaks; Croats are in second place with 1,396 investigations, while the Serb side sought to be given the go ahead for the criminal prosecution of only 719 individuals.

After studying the files, investigators in The Hague gave the highest marking A (a green light to proceed with criminal prosecution) in 865 cases. Hartmann said today of that number, only 90 individuals, or 10 percent of the people for whom it was determined there were grounds for criminal prosecution, were actually brought to trial before BH courts.

The marking B, which means that there are no grounds for a criminal prosecution, was given to a total of 2,375 cases that had been investigated. Finally, the marking C, which means that additional investigations must be carried out, was given to 691 cases submitted for review in accordance with the Rules of the Road standards.