Today, Minister of Justice Nela Kuburovic and the US Ambassador to Serbia Kyle Scott discussed the topic of future cooperation, particularly in the fight against corruption and trafficking in human beings. Kuburovic and Scott stressed the importance of the bilateral cooperation towards the promotion of the rule of law, as well as the two countries’ partnership in the European integration process and the harmonisation with EU standards.
Ambassador Scott congratulated Minister Kuburovic on the Ministry’s commitment and efforts to passing new legislative provisions dealing with anti-corruption and anti-organised crime, which presented new mechanisms for fighting crime in Serbia and aimed at strengthening the judicial system. He added that the US was prepared to give support to ensure all the necessary requirements for those new legislative solutions to start being applied were met.
Minister Kuburovic and Ambassador Scott focused their discussion on the fight against corruption and human trafficking which had been particularly noted in the previous period as a result of the migrant crisis. Scott stressed that the US Embassy would be willing to give all the support towards the protection of victims of human trafficking, including the strengthening of the system for fighting human trafficking and smuggling.
Minister Kuburovic said that there were specialised prosecutors handling the [relevant] types of criminal cases and that due application of the Criminal Code provisions defining the penal policy for such criminal offences was expected. She added that a continual training on the topic of fight against human trafficking and smuggling for those holding judicial offices – judges and prosecutors – was required.
Kuburovic recalled that in November, the National Assembly had acted upon the Ministry’s proposal and passed amendments to the Criminal Code which increased the minimum penalty for an illegal crossing over the state border, in order to prevent the smuggling of migrants and, consequently, unable the pronouncement of suspended sentence.