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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, July 4, 2024

Albanian Language Media: 

  • Kosovo leaders congratulate the USA on the Independence Day (media)
  • Lajcak meets with Spanish Secretary of State for EU, talk about the dialogue (media)
  • Prime Minister of Fiji hosted Kosovo’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmeti (RTK)
  • Albert Zogaj is re-elected chairman of the Judicial Council of Kosovo (media)
  • Head of EULEX congratulates Zogaj: We continue to be steadfast partners of KJC (Reporteri)
  • Kadrijaj: Demands of U.S. for implementation of agreement are normal as Kurti accepted it (ekonomia)
  • Government MPs leave the meeting of Committee for Ministry of Interior (media)
  • Hamza: PDK is always ready for elections (media)

Serbian Language Media: 

  • Radosavljevic: Transitional Justice Strategy with numerous pitfalls, ignores post-conflict crimes (Kosovo Online, social media)
  • Defence of Sladjan Trajkovic asks his detention measure be revoked (Radio KIM)
  • How untrue Qendra Multimedia information became bait for media (KiM radio)
  • Brnabic meets with CDU/CSU representatives in German Bundestag (Tanjug)
  • “Populism ahead of elections”: Criticism of Konjufca’s statement that “hundreds of people train in Serbia and prepare for attack on Kosovo” (Danas, KoSSev)
  • Jakaj: The government did not meet the legislative agenda (Kosovo Online)                                          


Albanian Language Media  


Kosovo leaders congratulate the USA on the Independence Day (media)


Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani, congratulated today the United States of America, saying that it is an ‘alliance that continues to survive time and challenges!’. "Today, the people of Kosovo celebrate alongside the American people. Today, we remember the values ​​and ideals on which the United States and our powerful alliance were built!", Osmani wrote. "To our American allies: Happy Fourth of July!” she concluded.


Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti wrote among others that "Nearly 200 years after Jefferson's death, we are still working tirelessly to fulfil his last wish. From voting booths around the world, to the patriotic battlefields of brave Ukraine, let us all continue to do our part in this never-ending struggle—to keep the Spirit of '76 alive, for ourselves and for generations to come. Happy Fourth of July!".


"As a people and as a state, we are happy to belong to this democratic alliance, supporting the USA to protect ideals and realise our common goals," Kosovo Assembly Speaker Glauk Konjufca wrote among other things on Facebook.


The Minister of Internal Affairs, Xhelal Svecla, wrote "We celebrate today as a permanent ally with the United States of America, expressing our gratitude not only for the continuous support but also for the example they continue to set for 248 years. On this marked date, we congratulate the American people and the institutions of the USA, the friends and partners of our Republic! Happy 4th of July!".


The leaders of the opposition political parties Lumir Abdixhiku, Memli Krasniqi and Ramush Haradinaj also congratulated the U.S. on its Independence Day.


Lajcak meets with Spanish Secretary of State for EU, talk about the dialogue (media)


The special envoy of the European Union for the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak, announced that on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum and in the activities of the European Council for Foreign Relations in Madrid, he met with the Secretary of State of Spain for the EU, Fernando Mariano Sampedro Marcos.


He said that with Marcos he continued "regular consultations with EU member states", but also for the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue and other issues of the Western Balkans. "We had a broad and useful discussion about the Dialogue and the broader issues of the Western Balkans," Lajcak wrote on the X platform.


Prime Minister of Fiji hosted Kosovo’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmeti (RTK)


Kosovo’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Kreshnik Ahmeti, was received at the meeting by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji, Sitiveni Rabuka. According to the announcement of this ministry, Deputy Minister Ahmeti and Prime Minister Rabuka highly appreciated the relations between the two countries. Their discussion focused on bilateral relations, international cooperation and recent world developments.


During the meeting, they also discussed the deepening of bilateral relations, with special emphasis on the ongoing agreement regarding political consultations. "Regarding international cooperation, Deputy Minister Ahmeti thanked Prime Minister Rabuka for the continuous support that Fiji has given throughout the integration processes of Kosovo in international organisations", the communiqué states.


Speaking about recent world developments it was said that it is important to maintain peace and stability. Both parties assessed that they share the same values ​​in this regard.


Albert Zogaj is re-elected chairman of the Judicial Council of Kosovo (media)


Albert Zogaj was re-elected chairman of the Judicial Council of Kosovo, at the 328th meeting of this institution."The members of the KJC have appreciated the work and dedication of chairman Zogaj in improving the judicial system in Kosovo during his mandate until today, where under his leadership, the KJC and the courts have achieved progress in strengthening the transparency, efficiency and accountability of judicial system", the announcement states.


On the other hand, the Council appointed judge Ilire Vitija, vice-president of the Basic Court in Prishtina. The extension of the mandate of the chairperson of the Commission for Normative Issues, Drita Rexhaj, until the end of the mandate as a member of the Council was also approved.


Head of EULEX congratulates Zogaj: We continue to be steadfast partners of KJC (Reporteri)


The head of EULEX, Giovanni Pietro Barbano, congratulated Albert Zogaj on his re-election as Chairman of the Kosovo Judicial Council (KJC).


"My sincere congratulations to Albert Zogaj for his re-election as Chairman of the KJC. EULEX continues to be a steadfast partner of the KJC and we look forward to the continuation of our cooperation", Barabno wrote in Xplatform.


Kadrijaj: Demands of U.S. for implementation of agreement are normal as Kurti accepted it (ekonomia)


The member of the  Assembly Committee for European Integration, AAK MP Time Kadrijaj, told Ekonomia Online that the demands of the American ambassador Jeffrey Hovenier, for Kosovo and Serbia to implement without preconditions and urgently the obligations from the dialogue, are normal because according to her, Prime Minister Albin Kurti has accepted the formation of the Association of Municipalities with a Serbian majority. She added that Prime Minister Kurti is denying that he has accepted the Brussels agreement, the Ohrid implementation annex and Association for Serb-majority Municipalities, so according to her he is playing a double game. 


"Kurti would have been better not to accept the draft of the Association on the table in Brussels at all, and to say that this is anti-Constitutional, that there is a third power that is itself - a government which does damage to Kosovo and I do not accept it without any hesitation. While now he makes these policies wanting to keep the vote and wanting to keep the citizen's support. This is not right because it is damaging Kosovo's relations with our international allies and partners and you know what is the approach of this government in the international arena", she said. 


Kadrijaj blamed ‘reckless behaviour of the Kosovo government’ for the lack of  new recognitions and memberships in international organisations. 


Government MPs leave the meeting of Committee for Ministry of Interior (media)


The ruling party has left the meeting of the Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry on the level of management of the employments of the members of the Foreign Service and officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora. This Committee held a meeting with the engaged experts, until there was criticism about the list of witnesses who will testify.


The opposition had complaints that the Ministry of Justice has not sent all the documents requested by the Committee and that in the absence of documents the list does not include all the witnesses. On the other hand, the members of the government requested that this list not be voted on today and that the members of the Committee be given time to give their proposals so that the list is complete. After the discussions, the government MPs Fitore Pacolli dhe Jeta Statovci left the meeting.


Hamza: PDK is always ready for elections (media)


The current mayor of Mitrovica, Bedri Hamza, who has been appointed by the Democratic Party of Kosovo as a candidate for prime minister for the upcoming elections, said during his visit to Prizren on Wednesday that PDK was and is always ready for elections.


"The PDK, which came first in the local elections, was and is always ready for new elections. We will offer the country a competent government, accountable to our citizens and allies, with a concrete feasible program, and with measurable indicators, which we will present in the coming months", Hamza wrote on Facebook.


He further said that "together with every good-willed person, and every citizen who is tired of this hopeless situation and wants a better life here, we will make the change".


Serbian Language Media 


Radosavljevic: Transitional Justice Strategy with numerous pitfalls, ignores post-conflict crimes (Kosovo Online, social media)

Executive Director of Mitrovica North-based New Social Initiative Jovana Radosavljevic said today, following adoption of Transitional Justice Strategy by Kosovo Government, that the document has several significant shortcomings and focuses exclusively on sufferings of a single ethnic community, while completely disregarding sufferings of other ethnic communities, Kosovo Online portal reported.

In a post on Facebook Radosavljevic said that given active participation of New Social Initiative in this process and their role in a working group that prepared the document it is important to highlight potential misuses of the document and process by the Ministry of Justice and Kosovo Government.

She said the document prepared by the Ministry of Justice does not reflect principles it calls upon, in particular the principle of focusing on victims and inclusiveness.

“The document has several significant pitfalls, one of them being the most noticeable and it is its ethnocentric perspective – focusing exclusively on the sufferings of one ethnic community, and completely neglecting experiences and sufferings of other ethnic groups. Moreover, other communities are not mentioned at all in this document”, Radosavljevic said.

The bias is evident, she said, in a selected timeframe in which human rights violations are being addressed within the Strategy, spanning from 1989 to 2000.

“This period ignores the post-war crimes and massive violation of human rights, which mainly targeted the members of non-majority communities”, she said.

Radosavljevic also said it seems that the Ministry of Justice gave up on the reconciliation, given that the term ‘reconciliation’ is mentioned only once, within the context of promoting social cohesion among young people from all communities in Kosovo.

She pointed out that she is concerned about the one-sidedness and exclusivity of this document, especially with regard to the promotion and use of the term "collective memory", explaining that "in this context, the term takes on a distorted meaning, serving purposes contrary to its intended purpose".

“In addition to completely ignoring the crimes committed by KLA, whose victims were members of the Serb and other non-majority communities, but also members of the Albanian community, the Strategy introduces new, controversial categories of the victims”, Radosavljevic added.

According to her the said document can be considered as a political program of the ruling party, and represents a blatant misuse and mocking of transitional justice principles.

She said given participation of the NSI in this process it is highly important to deny each claim of the Ministry of Justice and Kosovo Government that this document was prepared in consultation with members of non-majority communities, adding that during the process the NSI actively made comments, proposals and suggestions to the working group members, but that unfortunately, their participation had been misused to falsely portray that members of non-majority communities were involved in preparation of this document, while stances, opinions and suggestions both from non-majority communities members and NSI had been ignored. 

Defence of Sladjan Trajkovic asks his detention measure be revoked (Radio KIM)

The judicial panel at the Basic Court in Pristina should decide on the new request of Sladjan Trajkovic’s defence lawyers to replace his detention with a mitigating measure, Radio KIM reported. Sladjan Trajkovic was arrested in December 2022, in Mitrovica under accusations of allegedly committing war crimes in Vucitrn municipality. He remains in detention since then.

His lawyer Dejan Vasic asked today that the detention measure be revoked and bail imposed instead. On behalf of the family Vasic offered as a bail 30.000 euros and a family house in Bosniak Mahala settlement in Mitrovica North.

Vasic expressed firm conviction that Trajkovic will not flee and will respond to court’s summons regularly. He also spoke about the poor health condition of his client.

Asked by the judge Mentor Barjaktari if he agrees with what his defence lawyer said, Trajkovic said he does. “I will never leave from here (Kosovo), even if they chase me I will not leave Kosovo. I have always lived here and the entire Mitrovica knows me”, Trajkovic said.

Witnesses did not appear at hearing today

In the continuation of a trial to Trajkovic, two witnesses were supposed to appear in the court today, but none of them came. One said he is not able to attend due to health reasons, while another did not mention any concrete reasons for not attending the trial, and therefore sessions scheduled for today and tomorrow had been cancelled.

Hearings cancelled until further notice

The presiding judge also said all planned hearings in the case of Trajkovic are postponed until further notice, as there will be a change in judicial panel composition. The judge  Barjaktari goes to the Court of Appeals, and the new panel will need to be established. According to the judge this can not be expected to happen during summer holidays. 

How untrue Qendra Multimedia information became bait for media (KiM radio)

Qendra Multimedia from Pristina, led by Pristina screenwriter and director Jeton Neziraj, published yesterday a false statement on social networks about the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation with the National Theater in Belgrade for the organisation of the "Week of the Kosovo Theater in Belgrade", reported KiM radio. 

This information was soon published, without verification, by some Kosovo and Serbian media, including Gazeta Express, N1 Beograd, Kosovo Online, and Novi Magazin.

According to Qendra Multimedia, the theatre festival is supposed to be held in the fall, on a symbolic date - November 29, better known as Republic Day (former SFRY).

In addition, Qendra Multimedia also published fabricated statements by Svetislav Goncic, the director of the National Theater in Belgrade, and Jeton Neziraj, the director of Qendra Multimedia from Pristina, and Neziraj himself, the director of this private theatre from Pristina, shared the same false statement on his Facebook page.

Jeziraj, sharing the news that Express published, wrote "Historical", and his theatre also stated that it is allegedly a historical event that marks the extraordinary progress of cultural relations between Kosovo and Serbia.

All that, including the alleged statement of "Svetislav Goncic" that he is ready "to bear the consequences" and that "it is high time for the two countries to turn their eyes to the future" was not enough for certain media to indicate that it was untruth or mockery.

The media believed that during the "Week of the Kosovo Theater in Belgrade" the play "Banjska - Our Pain and Pride" will be played, based on excerpts from the book "Banjska Diary (Dnevnik Banjska)" by Milan Radoicic. 

Although Radoicic was the main actor in the conflict in Banjska, it is not known that he authored a book about "his venture".

There is still no explanation from Qendra Multimedia for such an announcement, and the administration of the National Theater in Belgrade, which is run by Svetislav Goncic, has not yet announced the publication of this false news. In the meantime, N1 announced that it was fake news, and Kosovo Online and Novi Magazin retracted the news, reported KiM radio.

Brnabic meets with CDU/CSU representatives in German Bundestag (Tanjug)

Serbian Parliament Speaker Ana Brnabic kicked off the second day of her official visit to Berlin with a working breakfast with CDU/CSU representatives in the German Bundestag. Brnabic said she had had an open discussion about current cooperation between the two parliaments and Serbia-Germany relations. She noted that parliamentary cooperation was highly developed and that the Bundestag had an important role in the EU integration process.

"Stepping up parliamentary cooperation has a special role to play in bringing our countries closer politically, and I want to establish permanent communication between our MPs and Bundestag members in the future", Brnabic wrote in an Instagram post.

Brnabic will also meet with Bundestag President Barbel Bas on Thursday.

“Populism ahead of elections”: Criticism of Konjufca’s statement that “hundreds of people train in Serbia and prepare for attack on Kosovo” (Danas, KoSSev)

Kosovo Assembly Speaker from Self-determination Party Glauk Konjufca said two days ago there is “accurate information” that “hundreds of people train in Serbia to get ready for possible attack on Kosovo”, Danas daily reported citing KoSSev portal.

Democratic Party of Kosovo (DPK) MP and former director general of Kosovo police, Rashit Qalaj described this statement as “an act of populism”, criticising Konjufca for using this information for political purposes, in particular ahead of upcoming elections.

“You know we are having an election year and that Kosovo is on the eve of elections, because the regular elections would come in a 6 month time. Normally, when leaders of institutions are populists, you have the same information”, Qalaj said.

According to him, announcing such information can cause panic and fear among the population, and instead they should be used for preparation of security institutions to deal with possible situations. He also said that any information Konjufca has should be shared with security institutions. 

Jakaj: The government did not meet the legislative agenda (Kosovo Online)

Kosovo Institute of Justice Director Naim Jakaj commenting on the fact that in the first half of this year the government implemented only 15 percent of the legislative agenda, said the situation was not satisfactory, reported Kosovo Online, citing RTK. 

"Since February 2021, in every six-month period, the percentage has been 42 or 52 percent. Then it dropped to 48, 42, 38. But it never exceeded 50 percent. Meanwhile, for the first six months of this year, the Government did not adopt more than 15 percent of the draft law it planned", said Jakaj.

He added that the plans for the adoption of the draft law do not match the actual situation.

The report also states that according to the legislative program, the government planned to adopt 52 draft laws by June, but adopted - only eight, or 15 percent of the plan. In that period, the government also adopted 10 international agreements that were not foreseen for adoption in the legislative program.

On the other hand, the Government showed speed in adopting two draft laws: one planned for September and adopted in June - the Draft Law on Water Management Financing and the other planned for December and adopted in April 2024 - the Draft Law on State Graduation.