The issue of efficiency and rapidity of the criminal proceedings is the main problem identified in the third and final report on the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) cases, presented online by OSCE Mission to Skopje on Wednesday.
“The trials appear to be long primarily for two reasons: because there is an improper mechanism for the presentation of the evidence before the trial panel, and because of frequent delays and postponements of hearings. In most of the trials the presentation of material evidence came before the witnesses’ testimony. In addition, it appears that the prosecutors lack skills and/or the willingness to select and present to the panel only the evidence that is relevant to support the charges in the indictment. Judges, it notes, appear to be too lenient and tolerate the parties’ requests related to submission of evidence. They do not always exercise thorough control over the admissibility of the evidence at trial, but tend to allow the introduction of all the evidence requested by the parties without an appraisal of its relevance,” reads the OSCE report
The publication includes recommendations to judicial actors, the legislative and the executive branches, with the aim to tackle the issues identified in the report in order to improve the efficiency and fairness of judicial proceedings.