October 23, 2012 – Kosovo Law Institute (KLI) in cooperation with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) held today in the EU information and Culture Center, the roundtable discussion: “Organized Crime in Elections: role of political parties, policy of prosecution and sentence”. Participants in the panel moderated by Mr. Musliu from KLI, were Ms. Valdete Daka, Judge at the Supreme Court, simultaneously President of the Central Election Commission, Ms. Laura Pula, Prosecutor at the State Prosecution, simultaneously Coordinator of Election Cases, Mr. Fatmir Limaj, vice-president of the Democratic Party of Kosovo and Mr. Ahmet Isufi, vice-president of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo.
The debate about the manipulation of the elections has not been stopped for any moment and in every important decision or process for Kosovo. Constantly, senior political officials have exchanged mutual accusations of stealing votes, issuing elements that suggests the existence of organized crime in the election, this finding of the work “Organized Crime in Elections: Analyze of the policy of prosecution and trial”. For 2010 elections, prosecutors have raised indictments for 221 cases against 1,516 persons, and in the process of raised indictments there are 758 other commissioners, while there are another 300 cases to be investigated, involving about 2,500 commissioners, for whom the Counting Center of Results (CCR) has uncontested proves that they manipulated the votes. However, judges have been shown ineffective in solving them confirming only 94 cases. Mr. Betim Musliu, co-author of the report, said that “prosecutors hastening to extract figures have implemented an inadequate prosecution policy, by not investigating the elements of organized crime.
The enormous number of involved manipulators, especially 1,516 persons already accused, proves that they could not act in the same way and time and in different places, without having persons who have organized and financed them in committing these crimes”. Musliu said that the State Prosecutor and Special Prosecution are not investigating organizers and without their prosecution and trial, the justice will not be established in the country and no such crimes will be prevented.
Ms. Valdete Daka, said that the policy of sentence by the District Courts has already been aggravated, following the complaints of the State Prosecutor, converting the fines in effective jail terms. “These sentences will directly affect everyone, to avoid election manipulation in the future”. Ms. Laura Pula said that the State Prosecutor, investigations for election crimes has divided it into two phases. “In the first phase we went on an urgent basis to raise direct indictments, because for this we had offered evidence by CRC. Meanwhile, in the second phase we will review other cases that we have suspended for a while”. Musliu has asked prosecutor Pula whether actions have been taken after the public statements of the Head of Parliament, Jakup Krasniqi, that among the deputies there are those who are the product of stolen votes, she replied: “The State Prosecutor has taken as always all necessary legal actions, and in this case the mandate for the investigation of Organized Crime has the Special Prosecution Office”.
Fatmir Limaj said that failure to prosecute manipulators in the past has made to reach the peak in the 2010 elections. “I want to know how it will be done by the judiciary authorities to get the mandate of the deputies who are in the Assembly of Kosovo with stolen votes, if any”. Limaj said that it is completely unthinkable how it happened that in the Assembly of Kosovo, the vast majority of deputies’ to change from the previous legislature and introduce new faces. Ahmet Isufi said that the fiercest fight in these elections, the most controversial ever, has been developed within the candidates of political parties. “There are 87 deputies in the Assembly of Kosovo who are young and who have not been deputies before. There may be deputies who are there with stolen votes, but there may also be candidates who have won votes and who are not deputies today. This is to be proved by the judiciary, so the organizers of these crimes should be investigated”.