Friday September 5, 2014 – Kosovo Law Institute (KLI), with the support of British Embassy in Pristina, on Friday, has held the roundtable “Evaluation of implementation of the Action Plan for increasing of efficiency of the prosecutorial system on fighting corruption”, which has served to discuss implementation of this action plan, that has finished on June 30 2014.
Executive director of KLI, Mr. Betim Musliu, has presented the report “Corruption in Kosovo 2: Comprehensive evaluation Report on the effectiveness of the prosecutorial system in the implementation of the action plan on corruption cases”, which includes founding’s, evaluations and recommendations for the implementation of the Action Plan. Musliu while presenting the report said that prosecutions have not managed to meet the objectives of the Action Plan to solve corruption cases. “Not even half of the corruption cases that were registered till November 4 2013 or till entering into force of this Action Plan have failed to be solved, so only 41% of these cases have been solved”. Musliu said that there are prosecutions that have failed to significantly respond obligations for solving corruption cases, as there are prosecutions that have managed to solve all the old cases. “What is more concerning in the implementation of this Plan is non-respecting and no implementation of decisions of the Prosecutorial Council nor by the Prosecutorial Council”.
President of the Republic of Kosovo, Ms. Atifete Jahjaga, in her opening speech at this roundtable, has evaluated the report of KLI, which according to her, in detail gives evaluations for the work and results of Kosovo institutions in the fight against corruption and organized crime.
“Such collections however are valuable for all mechanism called for fighting of negative phenomena in the country, in particular the fight against corruption, because they tend to give an overview of successful practices and challenges that institution, civil society and citizens of Kosovo must address to fulfill the vision of building the state of law integrated into Euro Atlantic family”. President Jahjaga said that there are many times that society in Kosovo has heard by all leaders of state institutions, but also of the mechanism called for fighting of this phenomena, a commitment for zero tolerance against corruption. “Corruption damages democratic processes and in particular attacks the law enforcement.
Corruption affects the life quality of our citizens; it destroys key cells of society and leads to other dangerous phenomena. It can also attack seriously its most important values”.
Further, President Jahjaga said that fight against corruption is made in every level even in center and municipal level. “Fight against corruption cannot be fragmented, selective and undone. It is comprehensive, because corruption is damaging every life segment. So, a full-fledged fight, the daily and coordinated by the all institutional mechanism. We should witness together, to take our responsibility in fight against corruption. We want our citizens to move freely, as well as other citizens of this region, in the EU countries. And this process of visa liberalization depends on us, also by the institutions leaders, by prosecutors, by judges. Corruption cannot impede free movement of our citizens, as they cannot stop the EU integration process”.
Deputy Ambassador of British Embassy in Kosovo, Ms. Louise Taylor, said that Kosovo needs to mark concrete results in fight against corruption. “Corruption is not specific problem only for Kosovo, or for Balkan. However, in order for Kosovo to move forward in a way that people of Kosovo feel that Kosovo is moving forward, Kosovo must provide concrete evidence of results”. Taylor said that this project supported by the British Embassy is designed to improve the accountability and transparency of judicial mechanism in fighting corruption. “Second report for evaluation of the implementation of the Action Plan for increasing of efficiency of the prosecutorial action in fighting corruption shows that there were several steps that have been made, but it also shows a disturbing stagnation of progress, for example, the lack of the Action Plan being implemented, little change in the number of unsolved cases of corruption, and lack of communication between prosecutors and the Agency Anti-Corruption”. She said that EULEX must be used to fight corruption, but stressed that this mission will not remain always in Kosovo and local institutions one day will take over full responsibilities in this field.
Acting State prosecutor, Mr. Syle Hoxha, said that Kosovo Prosecutorial Council has signed Cooperation Memorandum with KLI, for the purpose of external monitoring of the Action Plan regarding increase of the efficiency of the prosecutorial system in fighting corruption.
Chief prosecutor Hoxha, said that implementation of this plan remains a guide for everyone, even further, to remain committed to raise results in fighting corruption, always in close cooperation with agencies and other institutions that implement the law in Kosovo.
Head of Kosovo Judicial Council, Mr. Enver Peci, has evaluated the report of KLI, stressing that report “will be a further push of all organs of law enforcement to proceed with corruption cases”. Peci said that even judiciary has decided to treat with priority solving of corruption cases, despite the difficulties that has and large number of cases that has on work.
Appreciating highly the report of KLI participants have discussed for the founding’s and evaluations about the implementation of the Action Plan. Speeches for evaluation of the report and implementation of the Action Plan have continued with the National Anti-Corruption Coordinator, Ms. Laura Pula, acting chief prosecutor of Special Prosecution of the Republic of Kosovo, Ms. Sevdije Morina, all chief prosecutors of Basic Prosecutions in Kosovo, Investigations Director of the Kosovo Police, Mr. Riza Shillova, Director of Agency Anti-Corruption, and Mr. Hasan Preteni. Participant on the roundtable and discussions were also the representatives of the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council, Kosovo Judicial Council, Kosovo Police, Civil Society, American Embassy in Kosovo, EU office in Kosovo, and EULEX.
KLI report states that in all prosecutions are committed 42 prosecutors in solving corruption cases. The situation of unsolved corruption cases in the prosecution remains almost the same as it was at the beginning of the implementation of the Action Plan. While at the beginning of the plan on November 4 2013, there were 516 unsolved cases with 1682 persons, at the end of the plan on June 30 2014, remained 548 unsolved cases with 1488 persons. So there is a small decrease in the number of persons on the unsolved cases at the end of 12% or 194 persons less than at the beginning. If we analyze number of cases at the beginning on November 4 2013 and number of cases received during the Action Plan, results that prosecutions have had on work 866 cases with 2307 persons. Of this total number prosecutions have managed 321 cases with 839 persons or 36% of total number. KLI estimates that in general this is the weak performance of the prosecutors in solving of corruption cases. Meanwhile, to make the measurement of the realization of the Action Plan, KLI has established indicators, based on the obligations arising from the Action Plan. KLI has decided to make measurement of the realization of the Action Plan, based on solving cases of corruption, which were registered until November 4 2013.
According to this indicator, results that neither half of the Action Plan objectives have not been implemented. Since entering into force of the plan on November 4 2013, prosecutions have had on work 516 unsolved cases with 1682 persons. Since entering into force of the plan until the end of deadline on June 30 2014, prosecutions have managed to solve 224 cases with 685 persons or total 41%. Of all these solved cases, results that to more than half of the persons the criminal reports are dismissed or corruption cases are ceased. Against 379 persons or 55% of them that are solved the criminal reports were dismissed or cases were ceased, while against 306 persons or 45% of them are raised indictments.
The way of solving cases is a good indicator also for the submitters of the criminal reports, some of which must be analyzed by the relevant institutions to evaluate the performance of the quality of their work. Prosecutions that have failed the most in the implementation of the Action Plan remain the BP in Pristina, which has managed to solve cases with only 13% of persons or 98 from 777 persons, which have been registered at the beginning of the plan. This also for the fact that a large number of cases were inherited in this prosecution by former District Prosecutor in Pristina and former Municipality Prosecution and also for the little number of prosecutors. After Pristina, follows BP in Mitrovica, which have managed to solve raised cases against 26% of persons or 36 from 141 persons, which have been registered at the beginning of the plan. However for these weak results in the BP in MItrovica have affected also the objective reasons of work condition, on which prosecutors of this prosecution perform. SPRK has not managed to solve even cases with half of persons registered at the beginning of the Action Plan. Of the cases with 232 persons as have had on work, SPRK has solved cases with for 107 or 46% of persons. Cases with over half of the persons have managed to solve the BP in Ferizaj, which from 126 persons, has solved cases against 81 or 64% of persons. The BP in Gjakova has had a progress in solving cases, where from 64 persons, has managed to solve 52 or 81% of them. The BP in Prizren also has managed to solve 85% of persons, solving 149 persons from 175 as had been on work at the beginning of the Action Plan. The BP in Peja has managed to solve 94% of persons or 81 from 86 persons as had been at the beginning of the plan. While, the prosecution which has managed to implement 100% the Action Plan in terms of solving registered cases until November 4 2013 is the BP in Gilan, which has solved all cases, particularly 23 cases with 81 persons. KLI based on monitoring of this plan, estimates that the same plan is not treated as determined issue with absolute priority in all prosecutions and this is noticed based on concrete results, which are presented in these report.
Despite solving cases, National Anti-Corruption Coordinator and Chief Prosecutors have had a number of other obligations, which have not been fulfilled or have minimally fulfilled.
Example on prescribing cases of corruption should have drafted special reports for each issue, but that was not done by the Chief Prosecutors.
The report of KLI expresses concern for the culture of impunity for the failure responsibilities identified in the prosecutorial system. KLI expresses double concern for the Chief Prosecutors that have not implemented decisions of higher organ in the prosecutorial system, Prosecutorial Council, but also expresses big concern for non-implementation of decisions by the Prosecutorial Council itself, to punish Chief Prosecutors in case that they do not punish their employers for evidenced violations.
Report contains 17 concrete recommendations for all responsible institutions that how they should improve in order to solve corruption cases, consequently to implement properly the Action Plan.
The Action Plan for increasing of efficiency of the prosecutorial system in fighting corruption is as result of the implementation of the Strategic Plan for inter institutional Cooperation on fighting of organized crime and corruption approved by the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council. KPC on December 27 2013 has reached Cooperation Memorandum with Kosovo Law Institute, which monitors the prosecutorial system in the implementation of this plan.
For more see the full video recording of this roundtable. Click here