Kosovo* Marchers Against Parties Financing Bill Complain of Violence

June 2019
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Kosovo* Marchers Against Parties Financing Bill Complain of Violence. Members of civil society groups accused the security guards of the ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, of pushing them away from the party building on Monday as they were protesting in a “March for Refusal”, as they called it, over the new bill on financing political parties.

The NGOs protested in front of the HQs of all six political parties, but were pushed away only when they arrived in front of PDK’s main offices.

The NGOs promptly organised a press conference at which they called on the PDK to take responsibility for the incident, and accused of using violence.


KLI: The Justice System has failed to treat targeted cases.

June 2019
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KLI: The Justice System has failed to treat targeted cases. Kosovo* Law Institute, with the support of American State Department, held a press conference during which it has published the analytic report “Failures in targeted cases”.

The report includes findings, assessments and recommendations regarding processing and management of targeted cases by the justice system from the beginning of the process (December 2015 until May 2019). Pressured by the EU to show progress in combating high level corruption, the Kosovo* Prosecutorial Council has earmarked a number of court cases involving corruption of senior public officials which were considered to be the final condition for a visa-free regime in the Schengen Zone. The rationale behind this exercise was to prioritise 50 more serious cases in the justice system which would be treated urgently by all law enforcement agencies.

Ehat Miftaraj, executive director of the KLI, said that Prosecutorial and Judicial System have failed in treating targeted cases.


Veseli dismisses all PDK officials with links to corruption

June 2019
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Veseli dismisses all PDK officials with links to corruption. During a press conference on 19 June 2019, PDK chairman and speaker of the Assembly Kadri Veseli announced that all PDK officials indicted for the crimes of corruption, nepotism or misuse of official duty will be dismissed from the party.

“I have decided that those politically appointed by the Democratic Party in public institutions who have indictments that are connected with suspicions of misconduct, corruption or nepotism to resign from their positions immediately,” said Veseli during the press conference. “Likewise, I ask for those who are elected through voting into Kosovo’s institutions to also resign from their positions.”


Kosovo*’s anti-corruption efforts inadequate, BIRN report says

May 2019
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Kosovo*’s anti-corruption efforts inadequate, BIRN report says. BIRN Kosovo*’s new report, which highlights failings by the country’s courts and prosecutors in tackling corruption cases in 2018, was launched at an event in Pristina on 23 May 2019. The report, based on BIRN Kosovo*’s monitoring of 520 court hearings, found that there was a fall last year in the number of resolved cases, in verdicts that imposed effective prison sentences, and in verdicts that imposed fines or parole sentences. On the other hand, there was a drastic increase in acquittals and cases that were dropped. All these results show that there is deterioration in the fight against corruption in terms of the number of accused persons as well as in the number of verdicts resulting in punishment.


Director of the Anti-Corruption Agency calls for serious sentences for corruption

May 2019
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Director of the Anti-Corruption Agency calls for serious sentences for corruption. Shaip Havolli, Director of the Anti-Corruption Agency, is not content with the high-level corruption sentences. Havolli stated that low sentences or release is a negative signal towards Kosovo*’s development and integration in the international structures. “We are not happy with the sentences as those are negative signals. Several reports lately and many ambassadors, especially the American one, have given their remarks and warnings regarding the rule of law area,” concluded Havolli.


Civil society organisations say corruption in Kosovo* should not be condemned only by American Embassy

May 2019
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Civil society organisations say corruption in Kosovo* should not be condemned only by American Embassy. Civil society organisations, engaged in rule of law and good governance, have welcomed the reaction of the American Embassy in Kosovo* related to the failure of Kosovo* authorities on high-level corruption affairs. In the press communication of “Democracy Plus”, it is stated that many corruption cases are being processed, though some of them are closed.


European Commission releases Kosovo* Country Report 2019

May 2019
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European Commission releases Kosovo* Country Report 2019. The Commission noted that Kosovo* has made progress in a number of areas, though a number of key EU-related reforms have not been accomplished. Among other areas, the Commission recognised legislative reforms had led to some progress in the rule of law, particularly in the investigation and prosecution of corruption and organised crime. However, the report also states that corruption continues to be widespread and that final confiscations of assets and the proceeds of crime remain low. The Report highlights several issues relating to the institutional framework in Kosovo*, noting that the anti-corruption and AML/CFT institutions need to strengthen inter-institutional cooperation and coordination mechanisms, and that there are notable flaws in the AML/CFT supervisory and enforcement frameworks. The Commission emphasised that Kosovo* authorities need to be more effective in their efforts to fight money laundering and the financing of terrorism, and called on authorities to implement the recommendations provided in the PECK II Assessment Report.


Kosovo* Law Institute: corruption remains unpunished in the country

March 2019
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Kosovo* Law Institute: corruption remains unpunished in the country. A report from the Kosovo* Law Institute has concluded that during the last three years, no senior official was punished regarding involvement in corruption. According to the report, the scale of non-punishment of corruption is worrying. Corruption at the senior level remains a serious problem. British Ambassador in Kosovo* claimed that despite all investments from International Community, such a high percentage of non-punishment of senior officials involved in corruption is troubling.


Asset declaration process for senior public officials has begun

March 2019
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Asset declaration process for senior public officials has begun. Regular asset declaration processes for senior public officials began on 1 March 2019. In accordance with the law, public officials are required to submit their asset declarations to the Anti-Corruption Agency by 31 March. The asset declaration is mandatory for all senior public officials, with the exception of those who took office after 1 January of the ongoing year. Failure to declare or false declaration of assets by senior public officials constitutes a criminal offense sanctioned by the provisions of the Criminal Code.


State Department: Kosovo* still faces corruption issues in governmental structures

March 2019
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State Department: Kosovo* still faces corruption issues in governmental structures. In the annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices issued by the US Department of State, it is emphasized that Kosovo* continues to face corruption in government structures. The report notes a number of problems during 2018, including threats and violence against journalists and minority members of law enforcement, as well as the return of persons who meet the refugee standard in the countries of origin. The Report stated: "in some cases the government took steps to punish law enforcement officials or other institutions who had committed violations. However, civil servants, members of the opposition, civil society and the media remain convinced that government officials are involved in corruption without the fear of being punished in accordance with the law.”


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*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.