A Judge From Prijedor Sentenced To Ten Months In Prison

Judge Drena Marin was sentenced in the first instance to ten months in prison for appointing her sister as an ex officio lawyer, thus enabling her to earn seven thousand marks.

Drena Marin, a judge of the District Court in Prijedor, was sentenced to ten months in prison for the criminal offense of “violation of the law by a judge.” The Banja Luka District Court banned her from carrying out her judicial duties for two years after the verdict becomes final. The first-instance verdict was handed down several months after the indictment was filed, and Marin can appeal it.

The RS Public Prosecutor’s Office accused Marin of rendering a decision appointing her sister Sanda Zubanović as a lawyer ex officio in proceedings against minors. As a judge of the Basic Court in Prijedor, Marin rendered 16 decisions from 2011 to 2016, based on which her sister was paid BAM 7,286 from the budget.

In an earlier interview with CIN journalists, Marin said that these were cases involving minors in contact with the police, and Zubanović was one of the two lawyers who had a certificate for working on such cases. These were also the arguments of the defense in this procedure.

Marin’s lawyer, Jasminka Jovišević, told CIN that the prosecutor, in this case, used two laws, which is not permissible. She explained that the description of the crime was made according to the Criminal Code of the Republika Srpska (RS), and the legal qualification according to the old RS Criminal Code.

A promotion for disciplinary offenders in the judiciary
Despite their misconducts, at least 14 judges and prosecutors have been promoted to a higher position or reappointed to a managerial position. 

CIN wrote earlier about Marin being disciplined for the same reason in 2018 when she was punished by a 20 percent pay cut for three months. Before the end of the disciplinary proceedings, Marin was promoted to the position of judge in the District Court in Prijedor.

At the time of the indictment in July 2021, she was suspended, and this measure will remain in force until the final court decision.