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On April 14, “Justice in Kosovo” discussed thefts.

Among the questions discussed:

How many times have belongings of the Podrimja family, from Gjakova, been stolen? Why haven’t these cases been solved, even though they’ve been reported since 2004? Have the police properly investigated these 18 cases reported by the Podrimja family? What have prosecutors done? What does the suspect say about the crime? Why did the suspect willingly confess to the police? Why did the cases not reach the court? Will the family be compensated with 300,000 euros? How did the theft happen in the notary’s house in Malisheva? Why did the prosecutor release the suspected perpetrator? What does the lawyer say?

Theft is one of the most frequently reported penal acts in the courts of Kosovo. According to statistics of recent years, there were 2,499 cases of theft reported in 2010; 4390 in 2011; 5910 in 2012; and 300 during the first three months of 2013.

The cases include thefts reported by the Podrimja family, which has reported things being stolen since 2004. Materials from from the family’s stone and gravel factory were stolen. The owner Bashkim Podrimja said: “This property has two hectares and 75 acres. It is a stone and gravel refining factory, but we have problems because someone is stealing our material. They have stolen copper and metal continuously.”

The first theft happened in 2004 and since then people stole from them continuously. One thief willingly confessed to the police. While explaining the police why he stole from Podrimja family, he asked to remain anonymous.  

The suspect is aware that he might get punished by accepting guilt; however, he said he confessed because he regretted committing the theft.

The police commander of Gjakova, Kriste Gjokaj, was aware of the thefts reported by the Podrimja family. “In total [Bashkim] Podrimja has reported 18 cases. This year he reported three cases of theft in his company. After the last three cases, we organized an intensive investigation and the thiefs were discovered. Through criminal charges we have managed to send them to the Gjakova Prosecution,” said Gjokaj.

The chief prosecutor of Gjakova, Shpresa Bakija, said that three of these cases were resolved with final verdicts. In all three cases the perpetrators were given suspended sentences, whereas one was fined 250 Euros.

Podrimja said he does not expect to be compensated of the loses.

In addition, the residents of Astrazub village, in the Municipality of Malisheva, faced many thefts. A few houses were burglarized – including the home of a notary, Ibrahim Elshani.

The thieves broke into the house when the family was not there and when the family got back home they noticed that all the windows were broken and their house had been burglarized.

“5,000 euros gold and 700 Euros cash were stolen from me, not evening considering the damages such as, broken windows and doors,” Elshani said.

The suspect’s lawyer explained that he informed his client about his rights, but the suspect admitted guilt in order to lower his punishment and was not pressured from the police.

Since the prosecutor, Xhavit Osmani, from Gjakova, made the decision to stop the investigations in this case, Elshani’s lawyer decided to make a request for the state prosecution to cancel the verdict of the Basic Prosecution in Gjakova.