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UNMIK Headlines 4 January

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Haradinaj: Kosovo cannot escape justice (Indeksonline/Zeri)
A special Court or a UN court? (RFE)
Selimi: Vetevendosje will vote for abolishment of the Special Court (Zeri)
Draft Law on demarcation to be discussed on 15 January (RTK)
Vetevendosje condemns sentencing of its MPs as political (Koha Ditore)
Surroi proposes law on amnesty as way to ‘reconciliation’ (Koha)
Vetevendosje MPs risk to lose their mandates (com)
Pacolli performs “selective rotations” in Kosovo embassies (Koha Ditore)

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Headlines – 04.01.2018

  • Haradinaj: Kosovo cannot escape justice (Indeksonline/Zeri)
  • A special Court or a UN court? (RFE)
  • Selimi: Vetevendosje will vote for abolishment of the Special Court (Zeri)
  • Draft Law on demarcation to be discussed on 15 January (RTK)
  • Vetevendosje condemns sentencing of its MPs as political (Koha Ditore)
  • Surroi proposes law on amnesty as way to ‘reconciliation’ (Koha)
  • Vetevendosje MPs risk to lose their mandates (com)
  • Pacolli performs “selective rotations” in Kosovo embassies (Koha Ditore)

 Kosovo Media Highlights

Haradinaj: Kosovo cannot escape justice (Indeksonline/Zeri)

Prime Minister of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj, told Indeksonline news website that he did not know what would happen to the initiative to repeal the law on specialist chambers but in case it reaches the Assembly and gets its endorsement, the government would respect it. “Kosovo cannot and should not escape justice, be it local or other, but it should have an alternative for instance have the trials take place in Kosovo which would be realistic,” Haradinaj said. He admitted that the repealing of the law would have repercussions in Kosovo’s relations with international community but he also said his party, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), continues to oppose the court as it did when it was originally voted. “We have had too many judicial proceedings, starting with UNMIK, ICTY, EULEX and now another one is really too much. Only Kosovo is being treated this way and it was a victim. Now imagine, we are turning out to be more monstrous than all the rest in the legal aspect,” Haradinaj added. He said he considered the statement of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) officials that all post war killings will be resolved by this court not to be true as the mandate of specialist chambers only extends so far as 2000. “The idea of indicting someone from the KLA so that someone else comes to power is also not grounded. Normally if someone from the KLA is affected, they will leave them in power not to anger them anymore.”

A special Court or a UN court? (RFE)

Kosovo Assembly MPs from the government coalition and from opposition claim that the request for abolishment of the Law on Special Court, remains at the Assembly and it is expected to be proceeded. Professor of the international criminal law, Ismet Salihu, told Radio Free Europe that if the proposal is preceded at the Assembly, abolishment of the Law will face many problems. According to him, this would initially require constitutional changes which cannot be done without consent of the two thirds of MPs as well as two thirds of the MPs who represent minority communities. “Also, the international agreement reached between former President Atifete Jahjaga and the Dutch Ambassador on the headquarters of this court, has to be revoked. “This is a very complicated matter in the international criminal law,” he said. He added that even if the required votes for abolishment of the Law were reached, the international justice has other alternative versions, which according to him would have been even more harmful for Kosovo. “As internationals stressed in 2015, if Kosovo does not establish this Court, then the UN Security Council will do so… This would have been a worse version, more negative and with serious consequences for Kosovo,” Salihu said.

Selimi: Vetevendosje will vote for abolishment of the Special Court (Zeri)

Vetevendosje Movement MP, Rexhep Selimi, told the paper that his political party will vote for abolishment of the Law on Special Court. He explained their absence at the meeting of the Assembly Chairmanship saying that over 40 signatures of the MPs are more important than the meetings of the Chairmanship to call a session. He added that the initiative to abolish the Court should have come from the government or the President, however, according to him, they are using individuals and other ways to reach this.

Draft Law on demarcation to be discussed on 15 January (RTK)

The Assembly of Kosovo is expected to resume work on 15 January. At the same date, the Assembly Committee for Foreign Affairs will meet to discuss the draft law on demarcation of the border with Montenegro. The Committee is expected to vote if the draft law should be submitted to the Assembly for approval. 

Vetevendosje condemns sentencing of its MPs as political (Koha Ditore)

Vetevendosje officials said in a press conference yesterday following the court ruling on its four MPs that their actions in the Assembly were just and given the circumstances they would act in the same manner again. Donika Kadaj-Bujupi, one of the convicted MPs, said Vetevendosje’s actions were in defence of Kosovo’s sovereignty while Albulena Haxhiu, also convicted, said the court’s decision shows that judiciary in Kosovo is not impartial.

Surroi proposes law on amnesty as way to ‘reconciliation’ (Koha)

Publicist Veton Surroi has come out with a proposal which, according to him, will lead to reconciliation in Kosovo. In a Facebook post, Surroi said Kosovo needs to approve the law on amnesty for MPs who used teargas at the Assembly since, as he said, they acted in protecting Kosovo’s constitutional order from the damage that could have been caused by the Association/Community of Serb-majority municipalities. He said the amnesty law would suspend all court rulings so far and prevent the initiation of new proceedings against MPs that employed means outside parliamentary norms to defend the constitution of Kosovo.

Vetevendosje MPs risk to lose their mandates  (Kallxo.com)

Four Vetevendosje Movement MPs sentenced on Wednesday by the Basic Court in Pristina, risk to lose their mandates at the Assembly of Kosovo, if the verdict is reconfirmed by the Court of Appeals. Both the Constitution of Kosovo and the Work Regulation of the Assembly stress that the MPs who are sentenced with more than one year of prison, lose their mandate. Article 70 of the Constitution of Kosovo stresses that an MP loses his or her mandate if sentenced by a final court verdict for a criminal deed for more than one year. The same is also stressed in the Regulation of the Assembly of Kosovo.

Pacolli performs “selective rotations” in Kosovo embassies (Koha Ditore)

The paper reports on the front page that Foreign Minister, Behgjet Pacolli, is carrying out “selective rotations” in a number of Kosovo embassies by deciding to bring back around 25 diplomatic personnel. The official explanation behind the move has to do with the officials’ performance but sources told the paper that the decision is politically motivated.

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