BIRN Kosovo publishes report on justice system’s handling of terrorism and corruption cases in 2023

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BIRN Kosovo published the report titled “The Justice System’s Handling Cases with Terrorism and Corruption Charges in 2023”, which is based on the monitoring of the justice system and presents a detailed analysis of how cases of terrorism and corruption are handled by the justice system in Kosovo during 2023.

Photo: BIRN

BIRN monitored 7 terrorism cases and 16 corruption cases that remain active in 2023, which are handled by the Special Department of Basic Court in Prishtina, and also gathered data from public documents on cases of terrorism and corruption.

This report highlights the lenient sentencing policy and non-involvement of all institutions as the main weaknesses of the system, especially in corruption cases. It also reveals the courts’ serious issues with the delays in handling cases, by showing data from prolonged cases handled by the Special Department of the Basic Court in Prishtina and the Special Department of the Court of Appeals in 2023.

As per the terrorism cases, data from this report shows that the justice system had a quicker approach to dealing with such cases. However, considerable delays are also observed between the time when the crime is alleged to have been committed and the time when the indictment is filed and when the trials are held. As for punishments, this report finds the sentencing policy inadequate. Revealing that in 3 out of 7 monitored cases that have been issued a conviction, sentences appeared in the lowest threshold of the sentence envisaged.

The report also provides recommendations intended to be a useful aid to justice institutions to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Kosovo’s justice system and contribute to developing the necessary justice reforms.

The main recommendations of this report focus on the improvement of Prosecution from addressing the mistakes made in the application of investigative techniques, to considering the court’s findings when prosecutors failed to establish the intent of the accused in committing criminal offenses and ensuring prosecutors are provided with skills and updated knowledge to investigate violent extremism and terrorism cases.

Other recommendations include the further strengthening of KJK and KPK collaboration with international organizations, civil society, and other relevant institutions, as well as the media, with the common goal of strengthening the efforts against corruption and increasing the public’s trust in the justice system.

Click here for the report on Albanian and English.

This activity is implemented as part of the “Media as a means to improve the transparency of the justice system and the fight against terrorism and extremism” project, supported by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation through the Italian embassy in Prishtina.