THE RESPONSE OF THE JUDICIARY 2 – 2013 ELECTIONS

Thursday 7 August, 2014

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DOCUMENT TYPE: REPORT
RELEASE DATE: 29 NOVEMBER 2013
AUTHORS: BETIM MUSLIU AND ADEM GASHI
PLACE OF PUBLICATION: PRISHTINA, REPUBLIC OF KOSOVO
SUPPORTED BY: EMBASSY OF GREAT BRITAIN IN PRISTINA
This is the second brief report by Kosovo Law Institute (KLI), that summarizes our observations of activities of institutions of justice related to offenses against the voting rights during the elections of 3rd of November, 2013. KLI values the approach, standards and commitment of security and prosecution authorities in investigation of criminal activity against the voting rights, and the progress made compared to the investigation and prosecution of crimes in 2010 elections.
One of the major concerns expressed has been the degree of independence and impartiality of judges and prosecutors in election related cases. Concerns were raised after a number of prosecutors renounced their initial request for a custodial sentences; on the other hand, a number of judges have ordered measures that are milder than custody, and a judge in the Court of First Instance has given a conditional sentence to an offender charged with “Threat of a Candidate” which is not consistent with the damage caused by the crime.
Recommendations:
State Prosecutor and Kosovo Police should increase cooperation and efficiency for prompt implementation of SOPs by conducting detailed investigations as required by positive legislation and by SOPs in order to reveal elements of organized crime in cases that arise during elections by prosecuting the facilitators of these crimes.
Prosecutors should be provided better support for their demands to impose security measures for defendants in criminal proceedings, respecting human rights and freedoms. Their requests to the court should not be drawn hastily, without a proper analysis of circumstances and the degree of suspicion.
Judges should understand the degree of risk, the importance of elections and crimes against voting rights and impose appropriate measures against the defendants, to ensure the appropriate running of the criminal proceedings, always respecting the human rights and freedoms.
State Prosecutor should investigate all other suspicious activities of financing of political parties and the parties’ election related expenses, which, as has been extensively reported by media, are inconsistent with declared funds of political parties
State Prosecutor and Kosovo Police should intensify efforts to have the cases reported so that they can be addressed by relevant authorities