Pristina, April 08 2015 – Kosovo Law Institute (KLI), with the support of British Embassy in Pristina, on Wednesday, held roundtable “Evaluation of the implementation of the Action Plan for Increasing Efficiency of the Prosecutorial System in Fighting Corruption”, which has served to discuss the implementation of this Action Plan, since entering into force on November 4 2013 until December 31 2014.
Executive director of KLI, Mr. Betim Musliu, has presented the report “Corruption in Kosovo 4: Periodic evaluation report on the effectiveness of the prosecutorial system in the implementation of the action plan for corruption cases”, with the findings, evaluations and recommendations for the implementation of the Action Plan. During the presentation of the report, Musliu said that prosecutions until this reporting period have managed to solve half the cases of corruption at work. “If we analyze the number of cases at the beginning of November 4, 2013 (516 cases with 1682 persons) and the number of cases received during the Action Plan until December 31, 2014 (548 cases with 1027 persons), results that prosecutions have had at work 1064 cases with 2709 persons. From this general number prosecutions have managed to solve 566 cases or 53% of them with 1301 persons or 48% of them. Of the total of 1301 persons against which cases have been solved in general, prosecutors have raised indictments against 550 persons after investigations or direct indictments, have proposed the imposition of punitive order against 45 persons, while have dismissed the criminal reports against 330 persons and investigations were ceased against 376 persons”, Musliu said.
Acting Chief State Prosecutor, Mr. Syle Hoxha, said that the report of KLI is the result of external independent monitoring, which KLI has done it continuously in accordance with the Memorandum of Cooperation signed with the Prosecutorial Council. “I thank KLI and the staff for the professional work while monitoring the prosecutorial system regarding corruption cases and those reports, presents real situation”. Mr. Hoxha said that access and cooperation between KLI and KPC has resulted with the compilation of professional and understandable reports. “…Increasing transparency and accountability must remain a prerequisite to carry out legal obligations. Increasing transparency and accountability should not scare anyone; we must inform the public about our work”. In the end Mr. Hoxha thanked KLI and staff for the professional contribution saying that this cooperation will continue in the future.
Head of the Kosovo Judicial Council, Mr. Enver Peci has highly appreciated the report of KLI, noting that the roundtables help to assess the aspect of real situation about corruption cases.
“It is a good method of analyzing the situation in terms of solving these cases through prosecutions, and judges…
Access and transparency of these cases is very important, firstly for our citizens, and I hope that this form will continue also with the KPC in terms of future monitoring”. Mr. Peci said that since entering into force of the Action Plan of KPC volume of work is increased on corruption cases in courts, because of raised indictments by prosecutors.
Deputy/British Embassy in Kosovo Louise Taylor has highly appreciated the report and contribution of KLI. “What I like most about the project is that KPC has had cooperation with civil society. With signed memorandum, has enabled civil society to cooperate so as report to be balanced”. Ms. Taylor said that Kosovo still faces problems in fighting of corruption and that the participants at the roundtable are the people in charge of fighting corruption. She added that Kosovo’s future depends on respect for the rule of law, fighting corruption with which in addition to achievement of results it is very necessary in this whole process to ensure transparency. “Kosovo citizens need and have the right to see concrete results… As European citizen they have the right and this is made possible through civil society and media. In this way the citizens will begin to restore confidence in justice, for a prospect for a European future”, said Ms. Taylor
Representative of US embassy in Pristina, Ms. Michelle Lakomy, has evaluated monitoring report of KLI, addressing the challenges of Kosovo and its institutions in the fight against corruption. “I am honored to be involved in this event, and have the opportunity to discuss specific actions to fight corruption in Kosovo. The rule of law is essential for a functioning society. Without the rule of law, economic development is difficult, securing democracy is difficult, and justice is difficult to achieve”. She talked about the huge damages caused to the taxpayers of Kosovo as a result of developing of corrupt activities and in this regard has evaluated the Action Plan, which aims to fight corruption. “The Action Plan for fighting corruption is a critical step to stop corruption in Kosovo.
The justice system has an obligation to prosecute and judge corruption cases. The Action Plan allows prosecutorial and judicial system to incorporate best practices and identify challenges. Between these good practices are to promote transparency and accountability. This enables the public to understand that how corruption is treated in the justice system in Kosovo”. Ms. Lacomy, said that in this regard is punished by the proper implementation of laws, transparency and accountability then refrain corruption actions. “KLI and other agencies, and NGO-s which monitor this process, help the fight against corruption, because monitoring and reporting ensure transparency and accountability. And from the cooperation that KLI has with these public institutions, is important that public to understand that how corruption is treated in Kosovo, and to hold them responsible for their actions”. According to her, this responsibility and accountability can increase the public confidence in the justice system.
American Embassy supports the fight against corruption… We will continue to support activities against corruption, providing training and support to the State Prosecutors office, and other members of the justice system. We expect the implementation of the ideas and actions from today discussions. And again, thank you for including us, and we are happy to work with you as a partner in this important objective, to fight corruption in Kosovo”.
Senior Inspector in the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, Mr. Arian Saleh has highly appreciated the reports of KLI, which according to him, have produced concrete results in prosecution and disciplining of prosecutors, who have violated the ethical and legal regulations regarding treatment of corruption cases. “ODC has treated three previous reports from the KLI within its legal competences. All mentioned cases in those reports have been treated seriously. ODC has also informed KLI and the Chief Prosecutor for these cases. For all cases that we have considered that should open investigations, we did that. KLI all the findings has completed in the report by sending to us along with recommendations. Disciplinary commission, it is worth mentioning that some of these cases were treated by commission, has found and revealed responsible some prosecutors for improper violations and has set measures”. Mr. Salihu has ensured that the findings of this report will be treated professionally by the ODC, thanking KLI for the contribution as an impartial and professional institute.
Evaluating the KLI report, panelists and other participants have discussed for the findings and evaluations of KLI about the implementation of the Action Plan. Speeches for evaluation of report and the implementation of the Action Plan have continued with the National Anti-Corruption Coordinator, Ms. Laura Pula, Chief Prosecutor of the Basic Prosecution in Pristina Mr. Imer Beka, Chief Prosecutor of the Basic Prosecution in Gjakova Ms. Shpresa Bakija, Chief Prosecutor of the Basic Prosecution in Mitrovica, Mr. Shyqri Syla, representatives from Kosovo Police Mr. Shaip Havolli, representative from Agency Anti-Corruption, Mr. Blerim Kelmendi and others.
Participants on the roundtable and discussions were also representatives of the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council, the Kosovo Judicial Council, the Kosovo Police, Civil Society, and the American Embassy in Kosovo, the EU office in Kosovo and the OSCE.
Executive summary of the KLI report:
Kosovo Prosecutorial Council (KPC) on November 4 2013 has issued the Action Plan for increasing the efficiency of prosecutorial system in fighting corruption (following the Action Plan). Since entering into force of this plan, Kosovo Law Institute (KLI) in accordance with the Memorandum of Cooperation with the KPC has been monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the Action Plan. Until this phase, the KLI has published three reports, as a result of monitoring and evaluating the implementation of this plan. While this is the fourth periodic report regarding the implementation of the Action Plan prepared by KLI based on the findings from the information’s and official sources at the KPC and SP. Prosecutorial system has not been able to significantly reduce the number of unsolved cases of corruption. The trend of these cases in this reporting period (October, November, and December 2014) is sitting on the bottom if compares with previous periods. Entering into force of the Action Plan, prosecutions had at work 516 unsolved cases with 1682 persons, while on December 31, 2014 have remained 530 unsolved cases with 1556 persons. So, we have a growing number of unsolved cases of corruption, while a reduction of the number of persons against which cases have not been solved. If we analyze the number of cases at the beginning of November 4, 2013 (516 cases with 1682 persons) and the number of cases received during the Action Plan until December 31, 2014 (548 cases with 1027 persons), results that prosecutions had at work 1064 cases with 2709 persons. From this general number prosecutions have managed to solve 566 cases or 53% of them with 1301 persons or 48% of them. From total 1301 persons against which cases have been solved in general, prosecutors have raised indictments against 550 persons after investigations or direct indictment, have proposed impose of punitive order against 45 persons, while have dismissed the criminal reports against 330 persons and against 376 persons have ceased investigations. Accordingly, results that prosecutors more than half of the persons, respectively against 706 persons have ceased investigations or have dismissed the criminal reports, while against 595 persons have raised indictments.
KLI estimates that in general this is a poor performance of the prosecutors in solving of corruption cases. Even more concerning is the way of solving cases, where more than half of them are dismissed or ceased cases, and this proves for the serious problems of the submitters of cases and prosecutors, thing that should be analyzed by the internal mechanism of KPC.
Implementation of the Action Plan for recorded cases till November 4 2013 – As in previous reports, to make the measurement of the implementation of the Action Plan, KLI has established indicators, based on the obligations arising from this plan. Measuring the implementation of the Action Plan is based on solved cases of corruption, which have been recorded till date November 4 2013 as unsolved cases involving 1682 persons. According to this indicator, results that during this reporting period (October, November, December 2014), prosecutions have solved cases against 858 persons or have managed to implement the Action Plan 52%. From them, KLI has identified that prosecutor 23% of cases they have solved, have dismissed the criminal reports, 32% of cases have ceased investigations, while about 40% of cases have raised indictments.
BP in Pristina continues to be the prosecution with the weakest effectiveness in meeting the obligations of the Action Plan. BP in Pristina has solved cases against only 27% of persons, or only against 210 from 777 persons, who were filed in the Action Plan on November 4, 2013. However, it should be mentioned that compared to other prosecutions, BP in Pristina is the prosecution that has solved most cases for the reporting period (October, November, December 2014) total against 136 persons. SPRK still has not managed to solve even half of persons registered at the beginning in the Action Plan. From the unsolved cases against 232 persons as has been filed at the beginning of the Plan, SPRK has solved cases against 110 or 47% of persons. After Pristina and SPRK, follows the BP in MItrovica as most inefficient prosecution, which has solved cases against 48% persons or only against 69 from 141 persons as had registered on November 4, 2014. KLI considers these poor results of this prosecution, in which have affected also the objective reasons of working conditions, for which the KLI has requested to be addressed urgently by the Prosecutorial Council to improve working conditions, but nothing has been done. BP in Ferizaj has managed to solve over half of the persons, which from 126 persons has solved 91 or 72% of persons. BP in Gjakova during this three month period has not solved any recorded case until November 4 2013, while until June 3o, this prosecution has solved cases against 81% or 52 from 64 persons as there were at the beginning of the Action Plan. BP in Prizren has also managed to solve 90% of persons, solving cases against 158 persons of 157 as there were at work at the beginning of the Action Plan. BP in Peja has managed to solve 100% of persons or 82 of 86 persons as he had at the beginning of the plan. While, BP in Gjilan has managed to solve 100% of registered cases until November 4 2013 in the Action Plan, solving all cases, respectively 23 cases with 81 persons.
Except solving cases, the National Anti-Corruption Coordinator and Chief Prosecutors have had a number of other obligations, which have failed to meet. As in previous reports, also for this reporting period (October, November, December 2014), KLI has made measuring of realized obligations, based on issued indicators from the Action Plan. KLI for this reporting period has identified 13 prescribed cases; one of them is prescribed in the SPRK. Obligation specified in Article 3.2 of the Action Plan to prepare special reports for each subject that has reached the statutory limitation, did not respond to all prosecution. While BP of Mitrovica, BP of Pristina and BP of Ferizaj, had prepared special reports with the statutory reasons, this was not done by BP in Prizren and SPRK. The obligation set in Article 5.1 to identify materials and their allocation according to the competence is met by the Basic Prosecutions and the SPRK. Another obligation defined in article 5.2 of the Action Plan had determined identification of cases that might not be reported in the register of the criminal reports. This obligation is not fully met by some prosecutors. KLI while monitoring has found that a number of cases and persons are not reported in time to the database in Tracking Mechanism, reporting late and other cases that have existed in the records, while at the end of this reporting period, do not figure. Neither Chief prosecutors and nor National Coordinator are not aware regarding the violation of the rules of Tracking Mechanism. For this reason there has been no report for such cases, as defined in the obligations of the Action Plan. For this continuous failure, has officially reacted to the KPC and publicly in the media, KLI, seeking implementation of KPC decisions to hold responsible prosecutors and officials that have failed to respect Tracking Mechanism. The assignment of cases with absolute priority and divided by the quality of the perpetrators in another obligation referred in article 6.3 of the Action Plan, which results that is fulfilled.
Another obligation defined with article 7.3 of the Action Plan is implementing legal provisions relating to the seizure and confiscation of the material benefit earned with the criminal offense. KLI has identified that during this reporting period (October, November, December 2014), except the SPRK and BP in Pristina which have declared for some cases of money seizure, cars and apartments, chief prosecutors of other basic prosecutions claimed not to be aware if such provisions are applied during this reporting period. The obligation defined in article 7.1 for holding of regular meetings with the Kosovo Police, AAC, institutions and other agencies for the implementation of law, is partially realized. For this reporting period, BP in Peja, and BP in Mitrovica have stated that they held regular meetings with all other institutions besides the AAC. BP in Prizren has stated that has held regular meetings only with KPC. On the other side SPRK, BP in Gjilan, Gjakova and Ferizaj, have stated to have held regular meetings with all institutions, according to the obligations of the Action Plan. BP in Pristina has stated that has held regular meetings with all institutions, in particular with KPC, with whom they had held almost updated meetings. Regarding the obligation in article 8.2 to report for the progress of the Action Plan by the Prosecutions for National Coordinator, KLI finds that it is fulfilled.
While, BP in Pristina contradiction with other prosecutors has intensified reporting practice, reporting on a regular weekly basis. During this reporting period experts are organized only in the BP in Pristina and BP in Prizren.
Relations component with the public defined in the Action Plan is minimally realized by the National Anti-Corruption Coordinator. KLI has estimated the access and informing the public about the implementation of this plan, but the findings prove that this obligation remained to a large extend unrealized. For this reporting period (October, November, December 2014) National Coordinator was supposed to hold six regular press conferences or press releases, while during this period is released only a statement for written media.