Discipline procedures have been opened this year against five public prosecutors for poor work performance, said Chief Public Prosecutor Ljubomir Joveski on Tuesday.
A Skopje prosecutor has resigned after being pointed out for unprofessionalism, he told an online press briefing.
A rulebook has been adopted to follow the quality of the performance of public prosecutors in a bid to improve their capabilities. “The work of every prosecutor separately will be rated, both in quality and quantity,” Joveski said.
2020, he noted, was a difficult and challenging year for the public prosecutors.
“Even in the midst of the pandemic, after reorganizing, the prosecutors’ offices made sure investigations and processes continued with health safety protocols in place,” Joveski said.
According to him, over 25,000 perpetrators have been under investigation. Procedures against 3,500 people who violated health safety rules were opened during the state of emergency alone.
By respecting presumption of innocence, Joveski said that public prosecutors have increased the institution’s transparency by increasing the number of press releases and responding to public queries.
After years of struggling with lack of material and human resources, he said that this year 18 new public prosecutors have been appointed and the procedure for hiring 70 associates is under way. “By hiring new staff, the public prosecution will significantly improve its capacities, but I have to say that human resources in prosecution offices have to be further strengthened,” he stated.
Furthermore, Joveski said that this year the premises of nine public prosecutor’s offices were fully renovated with EU funds and two other offices were given new premises.
In the second half of 2020, the Chief Public Prosecutor said, the new Public Prosecution Law started implementing, which improves the organization and functioning of the institution. It’s crucial that 0.4% of the budget is guaranteed for public prosecution offices across the country, he added.
Considering the situation the country is facing amid the pandemic, the public prosecution’s finances in 2021 is 0.2% of the budget. “I have to stress that we all need to show solidarity and take part in efforts to tackle the hurdles caused by the deadly virus,” Joveski pledged.
The public prosecutors, he said, have continued to investigate cases taken over from the now defunct Special Public Prosecution and have filed indictments involving some cases.
“The public prosecutor’s office is unbiased in prosecuting crimes and will continue to do so next year,” Joveski concluded.