CLARD and KLI LAC: Judiciary is playing “ping-pong” with inheritance rights of Ms Aferdita Statovci

CLARD and KLI LAC: Judiciary is playing “ping-pong” with inheritance rights of Ms Aferdita Statovci

CLARD and KLI LAC: Judiciary is playing “ping-pong” with inheritance rights of  Ms Aferdita Statovci

Pristina, 28 June 2019 – Organisations CLARD and Kosovo Law Institute Legal Aid Centre (KLI-LAC), on Friday held a press conference where they presented the case of Ms Aferdita Statovci, whom had been claiming inheritance rights for 13 years.

In this case, CLARD and KLI-LAC have joined forces and within their scope of action will provide representation for this case, providing free legal aid. In this regard, CLARD has provided legal assistance in representing Ms. Aferdita Statovci for the realization of her right to inheritance, but recently this case is returned for a second time to retrial, returning everything from point zero.

Since 2006, Plaintiff Statovci has initiated inheritance proceedings with the aim of recognizing the legal right, respectively, to the property which her father and uncle purchased in 1975.  Pursuant to the Law on Contested Procedure and the Law on Inheritance, Ms. Statovci had sued the seller and her uncle for the transfer of real estate.

“My father died when I was 10 years of age, after his death, my uncle forcibly expelled me from my home. In 2006 I initiated a lawsuit for inheritance and 13 have passed that I am faced with injustice.  For me, it has been very difficult to be faced with such a situation because I’ve had many challenges, it has been very hard.  Currently I live in very difficult conditions and judicial proceedings have cost me a lot and I am in very bad economic situation because I do not live at home, I am without income”, stated Aferdita Statovci, during her presentation at a press conference along with representatives of the two organisations CLARD and KLI-LAC.

For 13 consecutive years, in search of the right to inheritance, Ms Aferdita Statovci has experienced “ping-pong” of judicial instances, which twice (2) had her case retuned for re-trial.  Delays in dealing with this case are of different nature, which have directly affected the violation of the plaintiff’s fundamental rights, in violation of the constitutional and legal principles and practices of the European Court of Human Rights, which are applicable in the Republic of Kosovo.

CLARD and KLI-LAC have joined forces in further addressing the issue of the violation of the claimant’s rights, Ms Aferdita Statovci. These organisations will continue to represent Ms Statovci’s case using all legal remedies available, including bringing the case to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Kosovo.

Mr. Anton Nrecaj from CLARD stated that said that since the beginning of the proceedings, it has consistently been followed by continuous violations and has not been treated fairly, impartially, professionally and in a timely manner. Nrecaj said judges in this case have played “ping pong” so far, replacing 16 judges for 13 years and returning twice for retrial.

Mr. Yll Zekaj, Coordinator of Kosovo Law Institution Legal Aid Centre, stated that in the case of Ms. Aferdita Statovci through the game of Ping-Pong there has been a violation of her rights and constitutional principles.  “For us as KLI and Legal Aid Centre, this is a strategic case because in Kosovo there a many other Aferdita’s and this is the only case that represents similar cases, where one case of inheritance continues for over 13 years and is retuned to point zero.  Not only is there a violation of legal provisions but also constitutional principles…we have 13 years where the game of “ping-pong” is being played at the judicial instances, two merit reviews by the Court of Appeals, including a procedural review that have removed the clause from the case that was once effective”.

Nrecaj and Zekaj stated that the court has disregarded the recommendations given by the Ombudsman, that such cases should nor get new case numbers and start from scratch, but should be considered old ones from the moment they are introduced, because otherwise decades of delays like in this case will discourage other women from seeking the right of property inheritance.

Aferdita Statovci stated that she has received repeated threats from family members due to the right of inheritance that she seeks, which has made the public aware of the delays in its case. The way the court handled her case, she said, does not give her much hope that there will be a reasonable and merit-based solution to the case.

CLARD and KLI-LAC executives vowed to represent this case to the end, using all available legal remedies including preparing the case for the Constitutional court of the Republic of Kosovo, alleging that the fundamental rights of Ms Statovci have been violated.

For more, please find attached the report prepared by CLAR and KLI – LAC regarding the background of the case of Ms Aferdita Statovci.  Report