Prosecutor's Office v. A.P.

In 2002, the Basic Court in Doboj convicted A.P. of Trafficking of Minors for the Purpose of Prostitution under Article 188 of the Criminal Code of the Republika Srpska. The Court sentenced A.P. to two years’ imprisonment and prohibited him from operating a catering business for five years. A.P. appealed his conviction to the Supreme Court of the Republika Srpska and then to the Constitutional Court of BiH. He argued his right to a fair trial under the Constitution of BiH and the European Convention on Human Rights had been violated because he did not have an opportunity to cross-examine the victims at his trial. Instead, the statements of the victims were read aloud in court. The Constitutional Court of BiH found that, despite A.P. not having an opportunity to cross-examine the victims, his right to a fair trial had not been violated. First, the victims were not present at A.P’s trial because they are foreign nationals who no longer resided in the Republika Srpska. Second, the victims gave their testimony in person during preliminary criminal proceedings, and A.P. was allowed to refute the statements at his trial. Third, the judgment of the Basic Court was not based solely on the victims’ statements, but also on the testimony of a third witness – who had paid to have sex with one of the victims at A.P.’s establishment – and material evidence.

Decision available in English here.



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