Pristina is not happy with the establishment of the Special Tribunal on war crimes

Pristina is not happy with the establishment of the Special Tribunal on war crimes

IBNA Special Report

Pristina, January 22, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Elton Tota

Institutions in Kosovo and civil society do not agree in principle with the establishment of the Special Tribunal on war crimes.

Kosovo’s Minister of Justice, Hajredin Kuci, says that the establishment of the Special Court has come as a result of politics and not the weak justice system in Kosovo.

According to Kuci, prosecutor Clint Williamson has told him that the establishment of the Special Court is being made in order for Russia not to react in the Security Council.

“This is a political compromise. Politics is doing this and not justice. The fact that these prosecutors that work today for EULEX can apply to be part of the Special Court, shows that this court is being established not as a result of the weakness of the justice system, but due to political issues”, said Kuci.

Kuci says that the establishment of the court is a stigmatization for the country.

“Dick Marty’s report is a stigmatization. However, since the very day that it was approved by the Council of Europe, it was known that this report should receive a reply”, says Kuci.

Non government organizations are also against the establishment of the Tribunal.

Council for the Protection of Human Rights and Liberties has objected the establishment of this court, its form and content.

According to the Council, such tribunal has been established neither in Bosnia, nor in FYROM, Montenegro or Serbia.

“It’s dishonest, immoral and unprofessional to say that this Court will be part of the judiciary system in Kosovo…Human rights practice does not recognize these courts, but criminals are treated like criminals and victims like victims”.

The Council says that justice would be made and would have a meaning if trials are held on all cases not dealt with by the Tribunal of Hague, UNMIK or EULEX.

The Council believes that all defendants that will be tried by this Tribunal must be offered a fair trial and provided with defending attorneys.

Meanwhile, legal experts say that the establishment of this court has come as a result of the failure of the justice system in Kosovo and the international justice system.

Criminal law professor, Ismet Salihu says that besides national authorities, the international community also has its share of the guilt.

“International community must also be blamed for this failure in the efficiency of the justice system in Kosovo, because since the liberation, independence and afterwards, it has played a key role in building and consolidating the justice system”.

“Besides this, they have had all the powers to investigate crimes, therefore  they are also to be blamed for this”, says Salihu.

Institutions of Kosovo have appointed a work group which will examine the legislation for the creation of the Special Tribunal on war crimes. This work group includes representatives from the presidency, government, courts and prosecution.

President’s spokesman, Arber Vllahiu said that all institutions of the Republic of Kosovo share their responsibility in fulfilling international obligations, approved with majority of votes by the parliament of Kosovo.

The first meeting of the technical team aimed at discussing legal changes, says Vllahiu. According to him, the technical team will discuss several legislative amendments based on the agreement ratified in parliament.

According to Vllahiu, this team will hold regular meetings with the EU team for the establishment of special chambers and will brief the president, speaker of parliament, prime minister and deputy prime minister on the discussions. /ibna/