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OSCE Broadcast 31 October

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• Srpska List requests establishment of Association of Serb Municipalities (All monitored broadcasters, KTV)
• Democracy Plus urges political parties to publish financial reports (TV21)
• Assembly passed revised budget (All monitored broadcasters, KTV)
• Mitrovica/Mitrovicë Prosecution functional, Court still not (Klan Kosova)
• Lumezi didn’t possess bar examination certificate in 1999 (KTV)

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Srpska List requests establishment of Association of Serb Municipalities

(All monitored broadcasters, KTV)

Srpska List presented a wide range of request to Head of the EU Office in Kosovo, Nataliya Apostolova, at the meeting which took place in the Kosovo Assembly premises.

Slavko Simic requested establishment of Association of Serb Majority Municipalities. He said that Srpska List would not support transformation of the Kosovo Security Forces (KSF) into army.

Apostolova said that the KSF transformation into army was a sensitive topic, and consent of both parties is needed.

Srpska List MP Sasa Milosavljevic requested establishment of the Association of Serb Majority Municipalities as soon as possible.

Head of the EU Office said that after local elections, they will put more pressure on Prime Minister Haradinaj to establish the Association.

Srpska List MPs said they would not support Law on Religious Freedoms, as according to them, it causes confusion regarding the status of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Democracy Plus urges political parties to publish financial reports

(TV21)

Political parties spend millions during election campaigns, but they do not disclose who is funding them. This was stated by Democracy Plus NGO. In order to provide greater transparency in this area, amending of the Law on Financing Political Parties is in the process.

However, the EU Office suggested to Prime Minister’s Office not to be hasty in the amending process of the Law. The EU Office believes that auditing must be independent and free of any political influence, and auditing reports must be transparent

VV believes that the Law is good, but its enforcement is difficult. According to them, it is very easy for political parties to make public their finances on their websites.

Other political parties were invited at the roundtable organised by Democracy Plus, but they justified their absence, saying they were attending the Assembly session.

Assembly passed revised budget

(All monitored broadcasters, KTV)

With 61 votes in favour, no votes against, and 15 abstentions, the Kosovo Assembly passed the 2017 Revised Budget. But unlike the model proposed by the Ministry of Finance, the budget has been restored to its initial state as it was left by the previous government, only that it will not have 2 billion euro. The data were presented to the public by the Assembly Budget and Finance Committee chairperson, Lumir Abdixhiku.

MPs voted in favour of all 18 proposed amendments, but LDK members abstained to vote the budget as a whole, except MP Besa Gaxherri who voted I favour.

On the other hand, VV MPs did not vote at all.

On the same day, Kosovo Government adopted Draft Budget for 2018, which is estimated to over 2 billion euro.

Minister of Finance Bedri Hamza said that economic growth next year will be over 4 percent.

Mitrovica/Mitrovicë Prosecution functional. Court still not

(Klan Kosova)

Shyqëri Syla’s office is no longer located in Vushtrri/Vucitrn. As of this week, the Mitrovica/Mitrovicë chief prosecutor has been relocated in Bosniak neighbourhood in the northern part of Iber River. He says that the new premises provide good work conditions.

However, offices of serious crime prosecutors have not settled yet, since they are dealing with collocating cases. The office of the prosecutor Radica Milic also contains a pile of documents, but she is happy with the office environment. “Generally speaking, the offices are a bit small, but lighting is better. This means that we have space to question the suspects and to deal with all investigative issues, which was not the case in Vushtrri/Vucitrn,” she said.

But the other nine Serb prosecutors were not in such a good mood to speak to journalists on their second work day in the Kosovo system. Legislation in Serbian has been distributed to each of those prosecutors, but court cases have not. They should receive them within the week.

“Pursuant to the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council’s (KPC) Rules of Proceeding, cases are assigned on lottery bases, and old cases are not assigned to new prosecutors. Cases are assigned at the end of every week on Friday,” chief prosecutor Syla explained.

While office of the chief prosecutor is on the top floor, the archive is located on the basement. Here, recently integrated Albanians and Serbs are working together in retaining cases.

Chief prosecutor Syla says that they will prioritise thousands of criminal cases that can be found at police stations. He said they would urgently deal with those cases that are approaching the statute of limitation.

Syla believes that with the 18 prosecutors, he will be able to reduce crime rate in the entire region of Mitrovicë/Mitrovica.

On the other hand, premises of Basic Court in Mitrovicë/Mitrovica have not been functionalised yet. This is because the Court president still was not elected. Finally, the Kosovo Judicial Council (KJC) elected Nikola Kabasic as president.

No Kosovo state symbol is visible here. This is the building of Basic Court in north Mitrovica/Mitrovicë. Even Serb judges who have been integrated into Kosovo justice system were not visible on Tuesday there. Although one week has passed since the Kosovo President decreed Serb judges, they have not started work yet. Support staff members have not started work either.

While everything is calm here, this Court is discussed in Prishtinë/Pristina. KJC has gathered to elect the Court president. The candidates are Nikola Kabasic and Tomislav Petrovic. The latter filed a complaint to KJC, with justification that the interviewing process was unfair. KJC found the complaint groundless.

It seems that the position of the Mitrovica/Mitrovicë Basic Court president was decided at a meeting between EU officials and Serb judges. The meeting took place in Zvecan/Zveçan on 20th October. The KJC chairperson read one part of communication with the EU officials. “Only two candidates were mentioned: Lidija Vucurevic and Nikola Kabasic, whereas judge Tomislav Petrovic, even though he was present, did not express any interest,” he read aloud.

Following the discussions, the time came for KJC members to vote. With seven (7) votes in favour, Nikola Kabasic was elected president of the Mitrovica/Mitrovicë Basic Court.

His election will speed up beginning of the Court’s work. KJC officials believe that the Court should be operational by Monday.

Lumezi didn’t possess bar examination certificate in 1999

(KTV)

In September 1999, former SRSG Bernard Kouchner established Kosovo’s Judicial and Prosecutorial Advisory Committee consisting of eleven persons, seven locals and four internationals. The Committee’s mission was to establish prosecutorial and judicial system in Kosovo.

The Committee chairperson Riza Smaka and Committee members Fadil Fetahu, Shaban Kajtazi, Tadej Rodiqi, Rexhep Murati, Ragip Halili and Bajram Krasniqi, started searching for qualified people in seven Kosovo regions. Based on statements of some of the members, the first prosecutors and judges in Kosovo commenced work on 1st January 2000.

Riza Smaka said that Aleksander Lumezi was one of the applicants for prosecutor in the first group. Lumezi was rejected in relation with his bar examination, simply because he himself said that he had not past the exam.

“He was very honest. I remember very well when he said he would have passed the examination, but the examination had not been organised for ten years,” Smaka said.

Shaban Kajtazi remembers strict requirements that were set for appointment of prosecutors and judges. However, he says he does not remember Lumezi case, because he was not a member of the interviewing panel for Lumezi.

“I don’t remember him personally, because Mr Lumezi was interviewed at the Prishtinë/Pristina Regional Council, whereas I was in Mitrovicë/Mitrovica. But what I know is that the Council rejected and did not take into consideration at all those who had not passed bar examination,” Kajtazi said.

Lumezi himself in his CV writes that he joined the Kosovo Prosecutorial system in September 2000.

Following the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council (KPC), the Association of Kosovo Prosecutors also requested interruption of investigations on Lumezi. IN a press release, the Association stated that the Kosovo prosecutorial system and the chief prosecutor in particular, have been facing pressure and attacks, in order to impose degradation, influence and blackmailing, with the purpose of hampering good performance outcomes shown in the fight against law violators. Moreover, the Association notified all those who are intending to manipulate the public that no pressure, blackmailing or influence will stop the work of prosecutors in combating crime and the groups supporting it.

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