Pristina, November 10 2019 – Kosovo Law Institute (KLI), with the support of US Department – International Narcotics Bureau and Law Enforcement Matters (INL) and NED, on Sunday held press conference, in which has published the report: “General crimes in Kosovo, law vs practice”.
Ehat Miftaraj, executive director of the KLI said that the analytical report is as result of systematic monitoring and research of cases in all General Departments (GD) – Criminal Divisions of all Basic Courts (BC), throughout territory of Kosovo, including also their branches. “KLI during this period has monitored total 2,694 hearings including 2,015 criminal cases. Among the biggest problems in this department is the phenomenon of statutory limitation of cases”, said Miftaraj.
Gzime Hashani researcher at the KLI, said that the KJC has failed to implement its policies in relation to reduce cases at the Basic Courts. “Although Criminal Divisions continue to deal with a large number of cases, those divisions have entered on “the fid” of stabilization. All unresolved cases that are transferred year after year will be resolved with this tempo for about 3 years”.
Hashani said that regarding performance of Criminal Divisions according to the Courts, it turns out that in 2018 leads CD of the BC in PEja with 51% of resolved cases, whereas the lowest percentage in this case has CD of the BC in Mitrovica. She emphasized that the low percentage of the BC in Pristina relates also to the large number of cases that this Court is loaded. “During 2018, on average each judge has resolved 303.4, judges of CD of the BC’s during 2018 have exceeded the orientation norm set by the KJC, carrying out 11.4 more cases”, said Hasani, according to her, in the KJC’s reports on individual performance of judges, KLI found that there is a great imbalance between judges by the number of resolved cases.
Researcher Hashani said that among the biggest problems in the General Departments, remains the phenomenon of statutory limitation of criminal cases. “During 2018 and first six months of 2019, in the judicial system 4,112 general “crimes” have reached the statutory limitation period, (3,850 cases with the absolute statutory limitation and 262 cases with the relative statutory limitation). If we calculate number of the statutory limitation cases with the number of days during 2018, then on the average every day 7.7 cases have reached the statutory limitation period in the judicial system, whereas every month approximately 237 cases. While, in the first six months of 2019, every day 7 cases have reached the statutory limitation period, or 211 cases per month. The statutory limitation amnesties perpetrators of criminal offenses and damages interest of the injured parties”.
Regarding prosecutions, researcher Hashani said that the KPC’s statistics preclude the analyzing of efficiency trends in these departments, making it difficult to correctly inform public about the work of this institution. “KPC refuses to make public the individual work of each prosecutor and also does not provide data on the number of the statutory limitation cases in the prosecutorial system, on the cases that KLI monitors, evidences and reports”.
According to Hashani, at the Basic Prosecutions (BP), it turns out that on average prosecutors have exceeded the double of annual scale, carrying out 305 cases more than the orientation norm. “BP in Mitrovica has been the most efficient prosecution, where each prosecutor on average has resolved 890 cases. The most inefficient prosecution was the BP of Pristina, where each prosecutor on average has resolved 388 cases during 2018”.
Another concern raised by researcher Hashani, is about the failure of Prosecution’s appeals in the Appeal Court. “In 2018, prosecutors of the CD have submitted total 426 appeals, from which 82 were approved by the AC, whereas 169 other appeals were rejected by the Appeal Court. While, in the first six months of 2019, prosecutors of CD of the BP have submitted total 673 appeals, of which 188 were approved by the AC, whereas 354 other appeals were rejected by the AP.”
Researcher Mirvet Thaqi has presented special findings of the report. Thaqi said that from the cases monitored it turns out that Prosecution has requested sequestration of properties only in 53 cases, whereas it has not requested in 1,962 other cases that according to him present a failure of prosecutors in fighting the properties acquired through criminal activities. According to him, the duration of a case in the Prosecution from the date of the submission of criminal record until the file of the indictment is 285 days. “Basic Court, only for scheduling the initial hearing after the indictment was filed needed on average 619, although according to the Criminal Procedure Code, Court is obliged to hold the initial hearing within 30 days after the indictment was filed”.
Thaqi said that the KLI has found that there is a tendency of the court to conceal cases to the public opinion where in the capacity of the accused, appear persons with influence in political and public life. “KLI has noticed that some cases are held closed intentionally to the public as cease of trial against Frasher Krasniqi and 21 activists of VV, indictment for the case “Fund 3%”, case “Hospital”, cease of proceeding against former adviser of the former minister, Blerand Stavileci etc”.
Other phenomenon according to researcher Thaqi during KLI’s monitoring is file of the indictments by prosecutors for criminal offenses of minor importance. “There have been indictments and sentences for citizens, who stole some chickens, or there were suspended sentences for buying the battery in value 5 euros. This approach of prosecutors and judges to file the indictments of minor importance and inadequate sentences, the justice system simply fails to give response to negative phenomenons on the increase”.
Thaqi said that the KLI has provided a number of recommendations to address the problems identified during monitoring. Among others, he said that, we recommend the KJC and KPC to re-analyze the rules on orientation norm, in order to create accurate indicators on measuring the efficiency of each judge and prosecutor, whereas these institutions were recommended to raise accountability on judges and prosecutors who do not respect the legal time limits in treating cases in serious crimes.
For more about findings, assessments and concrete recommendations, find attached the report Krimet e Përgjithshme ne Kosove-ligji vs praktika – 10.11.2019 ME BALLINE.