Verbal communication allowed between prosecution, police once again

Ljubljana – The government changed a regulation laying down the cooperation between the police and the prosecution and other bodies in pre-trial procedure on Thursday, abolishing a restriction that allowed prosecutors to communicate their orders to the police only in written form. The restriction was put in place by the previous government.

Justice and Interior Ministers Dominika Švarc Pipan and Tatjana Bobnar told the press after the government session that the change made today once again allowed verbal communication of orders from the prosecution to the police.

This will allow shorter response periods via all manner of communication between the prosecution and the police in the pre-trial procedure, Švarc Pipan said.

“The previous government’s demand for written communication was impractical and was not in line with the criminal procedure act, which allows all forms of communication,” Švarc Pipan added.

Bobnar meanwhile said that this restriction was not the only contentious change made by the previous government. It also changed the act on the work and organisation of police.

“We believe this change was not only unfortunate but also detrimental for fast decision making in pre-trial procedure, because it shut out the prosecutor and … in a way gave this power to the interior minister, which is unacceptable,” said Bobnar.

She pointed to the civil society-proposed bill that aims to undo several of the previous government’s decisions, including by limiting the interior minister’s powers once again. The bill has been filed in parliamentary procedure.

Meanwhile, State Prosecutor General Drago Šketa welcomed the changes made to the regulation in a statement for the STA. He said that being limited to written communication had no advantages and only increased unnecessary bureaucracy.

He also said that the move would lead to depoliticisation of pre-trial procedures.

Šketa said the prosecution would withdraw its petition for a Constitutional Court review of the relevant regulation, which was field in March.