Pristina, December 11, 2019 – Kosovo Law Institute (KLI) reacts to verbal attacks, insults and pressure against KLI’s monitor at a court hearing held on December 9, 2019, at the Basic Court in Pristina.
KLI through “Betimi për Drejtësi” (Oath for Justice) website reported on December 9, 2019, about the use of the phone by the defendant E.K., who watched a boxing match during the court hearing, turning the courtroom into a movie theater. The defendants’ E.K. conduct constituted violation of order in the courtroom and court dignity, for which violations the presiding judge, Vesel Ismaili, had not taken care of, as prescribed by Article 301 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Kosovo (CCRK).
The reported hearing relates to the indictment filed by the Special Prosecution of the Republic of Kosovo against M.Z., E.K. and I.K. accused for criminal offenses such as “money laundering”, “fraud” and “tax evasion”. Among other things, this case is one of the track record cases for visa liberalization.
After the publication of the news on “Betimi për Drejtësi” website, one of the defense lawyers stated during the court hearing that the publication of the news about the boxing match that his client watched was a scandalous act of the monitor and contained violation of privacy. Whereas, the former MP, at the same time the former candidate for Prime Minister in the last elections in Kosovo, M.Z. charged with serious criminal offenses had started swearing and insulting monitors that were present, including KLI’s monitor, using unacceptable profanities and insults.
Unfortunately, the presiding judge, Vesel Ismaili, was influenced by the reactions of the defense lawyer and the former MP accused for serious offenses, who instead of maintaining order in the courtroom and defend the dignity of the court, had not taken any action in this regard, but instead allowed a spectacle unfold through the unfounded claims of the defense lawyer, as well as through the profanities and insults of the former MP, M.Z..
In this case, Judge Ismaili failed to maintain order in the courtroom and protect the authority and dignity of the court as set forth in Articles 301 and 302 of the Criminal Procedure Code. In relation to this situation, Judge Veseli never issued a reasoned written decision limiting filming, recording or photography of this court hearing.
Moreover, Judge Ismaili, pursuant to Article 323 of the CPCRK, has a legal obligation to make sure to advise the defendant to follow closely the course of the main trial and shall instruct him or her that he or she may state his or her case, address questions to the co-accused, witnesses and expert witnesses, and make comments on and give explanations of their testimony.
KLI expresses regrets for the court’s failure to maintain the order and dignity of the court, by turning the courtroom into a movie theater and demands responsibility for profanities and insults addressed against KLI’s monitor.
Please find attached the full chronology of this incident in this link: KLI reacts to pressure and insults against KLI’s monitor while monitoring the court hearing in the Basic Court in Pristina