OHR’s Statement at the International Agencies’ Joint Press Conference in Banja Luka

SIPA Director Must Be Appointed on the Basis of Merit

As the procedure to appoint the State Investigation and Protection Agency
(SIPA) Director draws to a close, the OHR wishes to make it clear that it
expects this process to be kept free of any political
pressure or undue influence. The Law on Ministerial Appointments clearly sets
out the process for an impartial and politically free appointment process to
ensure the appointment of the most capable and professional candidates .

SIPA is a crucial institution for BiH; it will make BiH’s commitment to fight
organised crime, trafficking and terrorism a reality, by strengthening
operational capacity at the state level. I should also stress that SIPA is
expected to play a central role in ensuring full BiH co-operation with the ICTY.
It is tasked with making sure that individuals indicted for war crimes are
brought to justice. This is the biggest hurdle that stands in the path of BiH’s
Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

Given the importance of the agency and the position of director, the OHR
wants to make it absolutely clear that this appointment must be made on the
basis of merit alone and that politics must be kept firmly
out of policing.