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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, August 27, 2021

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• COVID-19: 2,295 new cases, 18 deaths (media)
• PDK leader: Kosovo going through tragedy; Government needs clear plan (EO)
• Lajcak: Next dialogue meeting in early September (media)
• Brussels says 2013 agreement violated, government and KJC silent (Koha)
• KLI: Court of Appeals acted correctly in case of Ivan Todosijevic (media)
• Founders and opponents of Open Balkan to meet in Slovenia (Koha)
• 23 Albanians believed to be in suspected mass grave in the north (Telegrafi)
• Ex-Trump spy chief Grenell celebrates pro-Moscow Serb strongman (Spytalk)

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  • COVID-19: 2,295 new cases, 18 deaths (media)
  • PDK leader: Kosovo going through tragedy; Government needs clear plan (EO)
  • Lajcak: Next dialogue meeting in early September (media)
  • Brussels says 2013 agreement violated, government and KJC silent (Koha)
  • KLI: Court of Appeals acted correctly in case of Ivan Todosijevic (media)
  • Founders and opponents of Open Balkan to meet in Slovenia (Koha)
  • 23 Albanians believed to be in suspected mass grave in the north (Telegrafi)
  • Ex-Trump spy chief Grenell celebrates pro-Moscow Serb strongman (Spytalk)

COVID-19: 2,295 new cases, 18 deaths (media)

Kosovo has recorded 2,295 new cases with COVID-19 and 18 deaths from the virus in the last 24 hours. 1,183 persons recovered from the virus during this time. There are 24,939 active cases with COVID-19 in Kosovo.

Citing a statement issued by the Kosovo Chamber for Hospitality and Toursim, several media outlets report that a curfew from 22:00 to 05:00 hours could be introduced as part of new measures against COVID-19.

PDK leader: Kosovo going through tragedy; Government needs clear plan (EO)

Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) leader Memli Krasniqi said on Thursday that Kosovo is going through a tragedy with 85 fatalities from COVID-19 in the last seven days. The leader of the opposition said the alarming situation is a result of the government’s poor management of the pandemic. Krasniqi called on the government to urgently present a new action plan and to increase capacities. “Every day of further negligence will cost us with more people’s lives, which can be saved with efficient management. The government can no longer pretend this is a normal situation,” he added.

Lajcak: Next dialogue meeting in early September (media)

European Union Special Representative for the Belgrade – Prishtina Dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak, said in a Twitter post on Thursday that the next dialogue meeting will be held in early September. “Today, I had substantive separate discussions with First Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo, Besnik Bislimi, and with the Director of the Serbian office for Kosovo, Petar Petkovic, about the preparations for the next Dialogue meeting on Chief negotiators-level in early September,” Lajcak tweeted.

Brussels says 2013 agreement violated, government and KJC silent (Koha)

The daily reports on its front page this morning that European Union officials said they are in contact with the parties after the confirmed sentence against former Serbian List MP, Ivan Todosijevic, who said that the Recak massacre was fabricated. The EU claims that the composition of the panel that confirmed the sentence was a violation of the 2013 agreement reached in Brussels, while the Kosovo Government and the Kosovo Judicial Council have made no comment. Legal commentators in Prishtina meanwhile argue that there was no violation because the agreement does not refer to the nationality but rather to the municipalities in the north.

KLI: Court of Appeals acted correctly in case of Ivan Todosijevic (media)

The Kosovo Law Institute (KLI) said in a statement on Thursday that it considers that the Special Department of the Court of Appeals has acted correctly when it handled the case of Ivan Todosijevic in a regular panel. According to KLI, the Brussels Agreement on Justice, the Regulation of the KJC and case law prove that the Division of the Court of Appeals in Mitrovica had no jurisdiction in this case.

The Agreement on Normalization of Relations stipulates the establishment of a division of the Court of Appeals, which will handle all cases of Serb-majority municipalities. In this case, it is important to note that this Agreement does not refer to nationality (Serb), but refers to municipalities as a unit, respectively Serb-majority municipalities. Therefore, the argument that individuals of Serbian nationality should be adjudicated only by the Division of the Court of Appeals in Mitrovica is invalid, as the Agreement refers to cases within the jurisdiction of those municipalities, and not every individual of Serbian nationality coming from those municipalities.

This Agreement is materialized by the KJC Regulation, which has listed Serb-majority municipalities and instance jurisdiction for those municipalities, emphasizing that the Division of the Court of Appeals in Mitrovica will only deal with cases that come from first instance courts of these 10 Serb-majority municipalities. The same Regulation was drafted and approved in full coordination and cooperation between the KJC and international partners, especially the experts of the European Union Office in Kosovo.

The case of the Member of the Parliament Ivan Todosijevic is not of this nature. This case, arising from the SPRK’s indictment, was adjudicated by the Special Department of the Basic Court in Pristina and not by a court of first instance in any of the Serb-majority municipalities.

Hence, KLI considers that the Court of Appeals has decided correctly when adjudicating this case, because in cases that are adjudicated by the Special Department of the Basic Court in Pristina as the first instance, the Special Department of the Court of Appeals as the second instance is competent and not the Division of the Court of Appeals in Mitrovica (as the case adjudicated in the first instance is not in a Serb-majority municipality).

Read full statement here: https://bit.ly/3mQTxK3

Founders and opponents of Open Balkan to meet in Slovenia (Koha)

The daily reports that the Bled Strategic Forum will be held in Slovenia next week bringing together leaders from the Western Balkans who remain divided over the recent initiative of Open Balkan. Kosovo will be represented by Prime Minister Albin Kurti. Based on the program published on the official website of the forum, Kurti will share the panel with the initiators of the Open Balkan, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and North Macedonia Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.

23 Albanians believed to be in suspected mass grave in the north (Telegrafi)

It is believed that a mass grave with 23 Albanians killed during the war in Kosovo is located in the village of Dreth near Leposavic. Kushtrim Gara from the Kosovo Government Committee for Missing Persons told RTV Dukagjini on Thursday that there could be mass graves in three other locations in Kosovo. “We believe there is a mass grave in the village of Marine in Skenderaj municipality and in several other locations in Kosovo,” he said. Halit Berani, leader of the Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms in the Mitrovica region, said it is believed that the bodies of 23 Albanian intellectuals from Mitrovica are in the mass grave in Dreth.

Ex-Trump spy chief Grenell celebrates pro-Moscow Serb strongman (Spytalk)

Are Trump acolytes cultivating European autocrats and extremists for a White House return as head of a transatlantic Axis of Evil?

While all eyes were on Tucker Carlson’s televised swoon for Hungary’s anti-democratic, pro-Russian strongman Viktor Orban earlier this month, another prominent Donald Trump acolyte was elsewhere in Eastern Europe celebrating yet another would-be dictator who’s fallen into Moscow’s orbit, Serbia’s Aleksandar Vučić.

Richard Grenell, Trump’s erstwhile ambassador to Germany, and, for a brief time, acting director of National Intelligence, has long taken the Serbian president’s side in his resistance to a peace plan that would have him recognize Kosovo’s sovereignty. Grenell’s partisanship was so blatant that, in 2020, when he was Trump’s special envoy to the Balkans, Kosovo’s acting prime minister Albin Kurti accused him of “direct involvement” in the downfall of his government. Grenell, he said, “put pressure” on the junior partner in his government to quit his coalition after he balked at signing a peace agreement that favored Serbia in a land-swaps deal.

“I wasn’t overthrown for anything else but simply because Ambassador Grenell is in a rush to sign a deal with Serbia…to score political points ahead of the U.S. presidential election,” Kurti charged. A Balkans scholar, Edward P. Joseph, says that Grenell“skewed the negotiating dynamics in favor of the intransigent side, Belgrade.”

Grenell took to Twitter to deny Kurti’s charge, saying, “There has been absolutely no talk of land swaps from me—and it’s never been discussed by anyone else in my presence. We have said this many times.”a

Read full article here: https://bit.ly/3kx4dua

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