KLI: Adequate response of the justice authorities in parliamentary elections

KLI: Adequate response of the justice authorities in parliamentary elections

KLI: Adequate response of the justice authorities in parliamentary elections

Pristina, June 13 Kosovo Law Institute (KLI) has monitored the responsibilities of the justice institutions regarding the criminal reports against voting rights for the parliamentary elections of June 8 2104. For the voting day on June 8, KLI has had engaged 40 mobile monitors, which on focus have had monitoring of police and prosecution activities at the scene.

KLI is working and will come up with the final report regarding the reaction of judiciary for the elections on June 8, but preliminary evaluation for these elections, until this phase is positive for the judiciary. KLI evaluates access, standard and commitment of security authorities and prosecution regarding the criminal activity against the voting rights for the elections of June 8 2014. In fact, the promotion of cooperation between State Prosecutor (SP) and Kosovo Police (KP) has made significant progress in local elections held on 2013, always comparing the investigation and crime prosecution with the 2010 elections and elections organized before that date.

In general, the positive results shown in coordination between justice institutions have a direct impact on the overall conduct of the elections, which were evaluated by locals as well as internationals as the best organized elections after the war in Kosovo.

For the parliamentary elections 2014, including the voting day on June 8, were registered 13 cases with 23 persons involved in the criminal activities against the voting right. On the voting day were detained by the State Prosecutor 14 persons, from them, prosecutors for eight (8) persons have requested from the courts assigned detention, while judges have approved requests to five (5) persons, who were detained for 30 days. Two (2) persons were given house arrest; one (1) person was assigned measure of attendance at the police station, while over 13 persons were held regular procedure. Characteristic of these elections, based on the inclusion of those persons involved in committing criminal offences against the voting rights, results to be criminal offence from the article 215 “Giving or accepting a bribe regarding voting”, where are included 10 persons. Concerning remains also involvement of persons in committing of the criminal offence “Obstructing the voting process”, to which offence suspected are 7 persons.

During the monitoring, results that in the Pristina region has had the most cases, where are presented five (5) cases with twelve (12) persons, followed by the Gjakova region with three (3) cases, with five (5) persons, while was not registered any case in the Ferizaj region and Gilan.

The most sensitive case for which has had public reports in the media, where was suspected for the fulfillment of voting boxes in several villages in Skenderaj, consequently doubts raise for the inclusion of persons in committing of few criminal offences, it is still under investigation process by the State Prosecutor. KLI has monitored closely the police and prosecution reaction in this case, from the moment when information is placed on the public opinion that there are doubts that they stuffed the voting boxes in several villages in Skenderaj. Based on monitoring made by the KLI, in the Working Group formed in the State Prosecutor and also on monitoring made in villages, to which is raised suspicion for voting manipulation, results that police and prosecution, reaction with few exceptions it has been adequate.  But, for this specific case and other cases of police and prosecutions reaction, will have special analysis in the final report, which will be published by the KLI, about the response of the justice authorities in presented cases for parliamentary elections 2014.

Inter institutional cooperation has deepened with the signing of a cooperation memorandum between the State Prosecutor (SP), Kosovo Judicial Council (KJC), KP, the Central Election Commission (CEC), and the Election Panel for Complaints and Submission (EPCS).  This cooperation has given concrete results throughout the election process. The greatest achievement of this memorandum as in the local elections in 2013, are the creation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) between SP and KP.

SOP have specified actions for investigations and effective prosecution of offences related to elections, always based on lessons learned from the past and best experiences based on applicable laws.

SOP has been the key of efficient cooperation so far regarding the investigation and prosecution of certain crimes in Kosovo.

11 criminal offences that sanction criminal acts related to elections in the Criminal Code define sufficiently all actions and the ways of committing these criminal offences about the election process and the voting rights in Kosovo.

However, the security authorities and prosecution have many challenges before them to prove that their work is professional, unaffected and right.  In this regard KLI estimates that justice institutions must prove concrete results in the investigation of the financing of the political activities to discover illegal and criminal activities and to establish justice. Monitoring the activities of police and prosecutorial authorities and their analysis by the KLI is supported by the Great Britain Embassy in Kosovo.