Pristina, 17 June 2019 – Kosovo Law Institute (KLI) strongly reacts against the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council (KPC), whom illegally assigned Prosecutor Kujtim Munishi for the position of Acting Chief Prosecutor of the Basic Prosecution of Pristina. The latter served as Head of the Serious Crime Department at Basic Prosecution in Pristina, whilst the proposal and adoption of his appointment in the temporary position as Acting Chief Prosecutor was approved at the KPC meeting held on 7 June 2019.
While the basic laws regulating Kosovo’s prosecutorial system, such as the Law on Prosecutorial Council and the Law on State Prosecutor, do not have provisions regulating the assignment of Acting Chief Prosecutors of relevant prosecution offices, KPC through the Regulation No. 8/2016 on the Appointment of Chief Prosecutors, Article 14, has explicitly determined that in cases where there is an absence of the Chief Prosecutor at the relevant prosecution office, the latter is replaced by his deputy, appointed by himself.
The former Chief Prosecutor of the Basic Prosecution Office in Pristina, Imer Beka had appointed as Deputy Chief Prosecutor of the Basic Prosecution in Pristina, Prosecutor Ibrahim Berisha. Chief Prosecutor Beka has completed his mandate as Chief Prosecutor of the Prosecution Office in Pristina, and according to the Regulation approved by Kosovo Prosecutorial Council, automatically, Prosecutor Berisha assumes the responsibilities and competences of Acting Chief Prosecutor of BP in Pristina.
Furthermore, Article 14 (2) of the Regulation on Appointment of Chief Prosecutors adopted by the KPC that is in force, determines that in case of termination of the mandate of the Chief Prosecutor, the Deputy Chief Prosecutor exercises the position of the Chief Prosecutor but not longer than three months. On this basis the decision to designate an Acting Chief Prosecutor is taken by the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council.
This legal obligation has been violated by KPC, which has forsaken the Deputy Chief Prosecutor of the Basic Prosecution in Pristina and has proposed and assigned as Acting Chief Prosecutor, Kujtim Munishi
KLI estimates that this logic of actions taken by the KPC, by violating its own policies that regulate the administration and management of the prosecutorial system, that it has adopted, proves that the objective of appointing certain prosecutors in these positions is for the purpose that the same are hired for certain interest groups. The logic of acting in this unlawful manner is unacceptable for KLI, especially in such cases, where the tendencies of the KPC leaders goes in the direction of unlawful recompense with positions and rapid promotion of the career of Prosecutor Kujtim Munishi, whom the KLI and independent media have reported for his service to Chief State Prosecutor, Aleksander Lumezi, who has illegally closed the investigation into the manipulated file of the bar exam. Moreover, the KLI considers it unacceptable the approach and policy pursued by KPC to appoint persons with vulnerable integrity to leadership positions and to whom the public lacks trust in independence and impartiality in the exercise of prosecutorial functions.
KLI and the public do not have clear reasons the violation of the provisions of the Regulation on the Appointment of Chief Prosecutors and the unlawful appointment of Prosecutor Kujtim Munishi.
No reason was given for not appointing Deputy Chief Prosecutor of the Basic Prosecution Office in Pristina, in the position of Acting Chief Prosecutor, as set out in the Rules of Procedure, Article 14 paragraph 2.
KLI requires KPC to reflect on this unlawful decision, annulling it and applying the provisions of Regulation No. 8/2016 on the Appointment of Chief Prosecutors.
KLI calls on all members of the Prosecutorial Council that have integrity, prosecutors with integrity in the prosecutorial system, respectively the Basic Prosecution Office in Pristina to reflect on these unlawful actions, by taking appropriate actions in accordance with the law to restore legitimacy to the KPC, as the only way to restore public confidence in the prosecutorial system and the justice system.
The Basic Prosecution in Pristina is among the most important Prosecution Offices in the prosecutorial system after the SPRK. In this regard, any decision regarding the assignment Acting Chief Prosecutor of this Prosecution Office and the process of appointing the Chief Prosecutor to this Prosecution seeks to be guided by a transparent, law-based and procedural process by ensuring the selection and appointment of a candidate with uncontested integrity and that has the confidence of prosecutors, prosecutorial system and public.
The content of this publication is the exclusive responsibility of Kosovo Law Institute (KLI) and does not reflect the opinions of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) – US State Department and NED.