Presidency for the process of the Chief Prosecutor: We expect the KPK to address the procedural violations
The Presidency of the Republic of Kosovo, despite sending the name of Blerim Isufaj for Chief State Prosecutor, will not undertake any action, but expects the Prosecution Council of Kosovo to address the procedural violations in a new process for Chief Prosecutor.
"All issues have been addressed in the President's letter/announcement dated October 17. We expect the KPK to address the procedural violations mentioned in that letter, in a new process", says a written response to "Oath of Justice", by the spokesperson of the President, Bekim Kupina.
On October 17, in a media conference, President Vjosa Osmani announced that she has informed the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council that based on the violations that have been evidenced in the process, it cannot decree Blerim Isufajn as Chief State Prosecutor.
"I have notified the Procuriorial Council of Kosovo regarding this assessment of the procedure, taking into account all the violations mentioned, it obliges me not to decree the proposed candidate for Chief Prosecutor of the State, according to the proposal of the Prosecution Council", Osmani stated .
At that conference, Osmani said that during the entire process, she took utmost care to avoid potential interference in the process with her actions as president.
She said that the evaluations of non-governmental and international organizations have been taken into account. However, the president said that he had received threats which he had not reported to the law enforcement agencies.
"Every other letter that the KPK sent, due to the fact that it knew all the reasons why the decision is not being taken, was illegal and unconstitutional pressure and contrary to any previous practice of inter-institutional communication... people sending messages that 'if not decrees it and does not sign it, we will file a case, we will file indictments, we will tie their hands", she declared.
Also, in an exclusive interview for the "Tempus" show, Osmani listed the violations that have been recorded in this process, and he emphasized that he also received threats regarding the decree of the chief prosecutor.
On the same day, the KPK responded to President Osmani regarding the non-decree of Blerim Isufaj as the new Chief State Prosecutor.
According to the KPK, Osmani's statements were "more built on a political level than constitutional and legal". It was said there that the systematic attempt to extend political influence over the prosecutorial system of Kosovo was proven.
The head of the European Union (EU) Office in Kosovo, Tomas Szunyog, after the president's decision, called on the Kosovo authorities to maintain the highest principles and standards of the rule of law in the selection of the new Chief State Prosecutor. However, the Embassy of the United States of America in Kosovo has said that the process for the selection of judicial officials, including the chief state prosecutor, should be fair and based on merit.
However, on October 25, 2023, the KPK again sent the name of Blerim Isufaj to the Presidency for Chief State Prosecutor.
KPK, in this letter addressed to the President, estimated that it was issued at the level of evaluating the merits of the recruitment process as well as the merits of the candidates.
"KPK considers that in the circumstances of this particular case, your release at the level of evaluation of the merits of the recruitment process as well as the merits of the candidate/s, has fundamentally violated the constitutional and legal powers and responsibilities of the Council, therefore for the reasons mentioned below, has come to the conclusion that the solution to the institutional crisis in the case of the Chief State Prosecutor, dragged on by you for more than a year and a half, can only be found by reviewing your act...", this letter states.
According to the KPK, the non-decree of Blerim Isufaj is considered as an unconstitutional interference in the independence of the Council for some aspects that, according to the KPK, are unconstitutional in the actions of the non-decree.
Otherwise, before the president's decision, the Constitutional Court published the full decision, where it was found that the prosecutor Shqipdon Fazliu contested the process of electing the Chief State Prosecutor in the regular courts after the legal deadline.
On April 6, 2022, the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council (KPK) unanimously voted for Blerim Isufajn for this position, while the decision to decree was in the hands of President Vjosa Osmani. This process has caused numerous reactions, where the coalition of NGOs: IKD, GLPS and Lévizja FOL, have called the proposal for the appointment of Isufaj as chief prosecutor unacceptable and have proposed that the competition be repeated.
Also, on the day when the KPK proposed Isufaj for the position of the Chief State Prosecutor, the US ambassador, Jeffrey Hovenier, reacted and mentioned the remarks about the process of selecting the Chief State Prosecutor.
"We are concerned that the way the KPK has developed these procedures has damaged the trust of the Kosovar public and our trust in the KPK as a public institution... The fact that the members of the KPK ignored the law, the complaints and the recommendations of the review panel contradict with that standard", the American diplomat wrote.
The British Embassy, the German Embassy and the European Union Office in Kosovo also reacted to this process, expressing their disappointment with this process.
Moreover, the Progress Report for Kosovo for 2022 has highlighted the disappointment of international partners and civil society for the lack of justice, transparency and principles of merit in the process developed by the KPK.
"The appointment of the Chief State Prosecutor has been pending since April 2022 and is overdue. The EU and other international actors, as well as civil society, publicly expressed their disappointment at the lack of fairness, transparency and principles of merit in the selection process. The protracted procedures have caused a state of uncertainty, which reduces the functioning of the institutions", states, among other things, in this report.
In order to discuss the selection process of the Chief Prosecutor, President Osmani on April 21, 2022, hosted representatives of civil society in a meeting.
IKD has repeatedly emphasized the need for the Chief State Prosecutor to emerge from a process that has undisputed integrity. / Oath of Justice