Chairman Hyseni presented the one-year work of the KPC
Prishtina, 30 December 2020 - The Chairman of the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council, Bahri Hyseni, in the year-end press conference, presented the one-year activity (2020) of the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council, the results and challenges faced by the Council in realizing its mandate, as well as planning for 2021.
Chairman Hyseni on this occasion said: “Let me first inform you that after the occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kosovo, the Council has taken action based on decisions and instructions of the competent bodies for protection from this pandemic. The Council and the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor in cooperation with the British project have drafted a Crisis Management Plan in the prosecutorial system. We also inform you that to date the prosecutorial system has not passed without consequences from this pandemic, because COVID-19 has taken the lives of two prosecutors.
This year, the Council has held 16 meetings, as well as issued about 170 decisions which have served in the implementation of its legal mandate and in the service of the prosecutorial system. In addition, the Council has held numerous other meetings through its standing committees, ad hoc and other bodies.
The Council during this year has been part of the working group for drafting the Concept Paper on Accountability Modalities with the involvement of Vetting in the justice system in Kosovo and through activities in this group, has contributed to the drafting of this concept paper.
The Council has also actively contributed to the working groups of the Functional Review of the Rule of Law Sector in Kosovo.
Let me mention some of the key successes and work done by the Council, based on its constitutional and legal mandate:
In order to function and implement the competencies and basic legislation, the Council from the capacities of the prosecutorial system as well as in cooperation and with the support of international partners, during 2020, has drafted and approved 7 regulations related to the election of members of KPC, evaluation of the performance of prosecutors, archiving documents, administering cases in the Office for Protection and Advocacy to Victims, organization and activity of the KPC, training in the prosecutorial system and the engagement and setting of fees for the compensation of translators and interpreters in the prosecutorial system.
The Council has also approved 2 administrative instructions related to securing, maintaining, accessing and ordering the premises of the Kosovo prosecutorial system as well as managing the spending of public money in the Kosovo prosecutorial system.
During 2020, the Assembly of Kosovo elected a member of the Council from among the professors of law faculties. Also, the Council has elected members from the 7 basic prosecution offices of the Republic of Kosovo, since the mandate of the current members of these prosecution offices expires on December 31, 2020.
The Council, during 2020, has started the procedures for the recruitment of 8 new prosecutors, where it has published the list of candidates who have met the criteria to undergo the qualifying test.
Also, during this year, the Council has elected the Chief Prosecutor of the Appellate Prosecution and the Chief Prosecutors of the Basic Prosecutions of Prizren, Gjilan, Ferizaj, Peja and Mitrovica, as the mandate of the current Chief Prosecutors expires on December 31, 2020. The elected Chief Prosecutors begin their work on January 1. 2021.
It is worth mentioning that, based on the Strategic Plan of the Kosovo prosecutorial system 2019-2021, the Council has established 3 new departments in the Special Prosecution. In addition to the War Crimes Department that was established in 2015, they established the following departments:
- Department for Organized Crime and Other Crimes within the competence of the SPRK;
- Department of Terrorism, and
- Department for Corruption and Financial Crime.
This was done in order to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of this Prosecution.
During 2020, the Council, in order to handle serious criminal cases and at the request of the relevant prosecutions, has promoted 11 State Prosecutors from the General Department to the Department for Serious Crimes and the Department for Juveniles in the Basic Prosecution Offices as well as the from Basic Prosecution Offices to the Special Prosecution of the Republic of Kosovo.
The Council has also transferred six (6) prosecutors to the Basic Prosecution Offices in order to support the Prosecution Offices in handling criminal cases.
One of the objectives of the Council for this year has been the accountability, professionalism and discipline of prosecutors. Therefore, during 2020, KPC has developed disciplinary procedures and has imposed disciplinary measures, which measures have taken final form:
- 4 decisions "Has not committed a violation";
- 1 Temporary reduction of salary to 30% for 6 months;
- 2 non-public written reprimands.
While for 1 other case is expected to be held a hearing in one of the next meetings of the Council.
Also, during this time, the Council received a request for initiation of disciplinary proceedings from the Ombudsperson, which it rejected by decision. The decision for dismissal, after the appeal of the party, was confirmed by the Supreme Court.
All final decisions are being published on the web portal of the Kosovo prosecutorial system, except for non-public written reprimands, as provided by law.
Through the Commission for Evaluation of Prosecutors' Performance, the Council during 2020 has finalized the performance evaluation for 51 prosecutors, in which case 28 prosecutors with permanent mandate, 22 prosecutors with initial mandate, as well as 1 extraordinary evaluation of prosecutor with a permanent mandate.
Also, KPC has finalized the assessment on the fulfillment of the obligations of 12 prosecutors in the initial training at the Academy of Justice.
Working Group for overseeing the work of Kosovo prosecutors and the Unit for Combating Corruption and Economic Crimes in the Basic Prosecution in Prishtina, established in order to implement the Strategic Plan of the prosecutorial system 2019-2021 to address with priority and in order to reduce of the number of cases for cases of corruption and economic crime, has successfully continued its work during this year.
As a result, the prosecutorial system has achieved that during the nine-month period of this year, out of 263 cases of corruption received, it has solved 220 cases, respectively, and it has solved 83.65% of the cases received. Priority during this year were treated PPN criminal reports in corruption cases where as a result during the period January-September 2020, out of 199 PPN information received, Kosovo prosecutors have processed and completed 211 PPN information or 106.03% of cases received.
Whereas, regarding economic crimes, out of 261 received cases, 227 cases have been solved; respectively 86.97% of the received cases have been solved.
So, the current reports show efficiency in dealing with cases of corruption and economic crimes.
Moreover, in recent days, through the report published by KLI, civil society itself has found that 298 indictments have been filed by Kosovo prosecutors against 216 politicians / state officials, most of who were filed during the time they were exercising official positions. The persons against whom these indictments have been filed come from all communities in Kosovo and all political parties.
Of these indictments, 189 were filed against officials or former local level officials, while another 109 against those at the central level.
Most of these indictments are filed for criminal offenses that fall under the chapter on corruptive offenses.
One of the most important projects for the Council is the ICT / CMIS Project which is co-financed by the Norwegian Government.
The Case Information Management System has been implemented in the basic prosecutions in Prishtina, Peja, Gjilan, Gjakova, Ferizaj, Prizren and the Special Prosecution.
During this year, the automatic distribution of cases has been implemented. All actions and acts of prosecutors are also recorded.
All received cases are registered in CMIS.
The total number of cases registered in the electronic system from January - November 2020 is as follows:
- 30,873 cases were registered in all Basic Prosecution Offices and in the Special Prosecution Office (including PP, PPM, PPP and PPN registers);
- Whereas, in the Appellate Prosecution, from September 2020, when the implementation of CMIS in this prosecution started until November 2020, a total of 1,037 cases were registered.
The CMIS has been implemented in the Appellate Prosecution, while in the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor it is in the final phase and it is expected that in January 2021 the training of the staff will start.
Also, the development of electronic registers is underway within CMIS, which means that in 2021 all physical registers will be closed.
The electronic exchange of data between the prosecutions and the Kosovo Police has been implemented. Also, the electronic connection was made through the CMIS system between the prosecutions and the courts.
During this year, the Council and the Tax Administration of Kosovo have signed cooperation agreements for the interconnection of electronic systems and the exchange of data in electronic form between these two institutions, which is expected to be piloted in the first half of 2021.
Regarding other aspects of information technology, the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council is committed to creating a working environment that will enable the provision of digital online services, provided not only for the prosecutorial system, but also for the citizens of Kosovo. In this regard, the electronic case management system (donated by GIZ) to the Office for Victim Protection and Assistance has been implemented. All cases are registered in the system and the number of registered cases from October 2020 to November 30, 2020 is 703.
Digitalization of the work process is one of the goals of the KPC, therefore based on the work plan other electronic systems have been implemented such as the application and electronic testing system for the recruitment of prosecutors, as well as the budget and financial management system.
The level of security has been increased in all prosecutorial offices, by installing security equipment and they have been supplied with Information Technology equipment necessary for work, including the donation of the American embassy with a total of 29 laptops for prosecutors who deal with domestic violence cases.
Regarding the budget, the initial budget of the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council for 2020 was 15,021,835.00 euros, which is 6% higher compared to last year.
However, with the review of the budget and the decision of the Government for budget savings, the budget of the Council has been reduced by 1,557,396.14 euros or 10%. Currently, the final budget of the prosecutorial system is 13,464,438.86 euros.
So far, the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council has realized 97.27% of the total budget, for all economic categories and budget programs of the Council for expenditures created until December 24, 2020.
The Internal Audit Unit, during 2020 has conducted compliance audits, which mainly cover budget processes, expenditures, revenues, cash, asset management, data on assets and their maintenance, procurement system and procedures that relate to supplies and services, the OVPA audit, as well as the audit engagement for staff recruitment and payroll system in the Human Resources Division, to evaluate the internal control system. According to the annual plan, five audits are planned and conducted, which reflects the systematic commitment to meet the objectives of the unit in order to operate the organization.
The Prosecution Performance Review Unit during 2020 has continued its activities based on its mandate, where it has supported the permanent and ad hoc committees of the Council and has prepared working reports, statistical and analytical reports for the needs of the prosecutorial system, different organizations and institutions, students and citizens in general, and coordinated the training of prosecutors and support staff.
The Council has continued the policy of open and professional cooperation with all local and international institutions.
Among the local institutions I would highlight: Kosovo Judicial Council, the Academy of Justice, the Assembly, the Government, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Chamber of Advocates, the Ombudsperson, the Kosovo Police, and the bodies of other law enforcement.
Among the institutions, donors and international partners, I would like to emphasize the cooperation with: the Embassy of the United States of America, the EU Office in Pristina, UNDP and other United Nations agencies, the Embassy of the United Kingdom, The Embassy of Norway, the Embassy of the Netherlands and other embassies, EULEX, the Council of Europe, the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation (IRZ), GIZ and other institutions and organizations.
An important part of the cooperation is also expressed in the European integration processes, where all the capacities of the Council have responded at all times to the requests for reporting and the preparation of various project proposals for project financing has been done.
The Chairman of the Council during 2020, with the authorization of the Council, has signed 8 cooperation agreements with local and international institutions, as:
- Cooperation agreement between KPC and KJC for electronic data exchange by CMIS;
- Cooperation agreement between KPC and KJC for the advancement and maintenance of CMIS and Data Center;
- Memorandum of Understanding on Personal Protective Equipment between the US Embassy and the KPC;
- Cooperation agreement between KPC and TAK, for interconnection of electronic systems and exchange of data in electronic form between KPC and TAK;
- Memorandum of Understanding for the protection and preservation of the environment between ERA, KPC, Municipality of Peja, Municipality of Deçan, Municipality of Istog, Municipality of Junik;
- Memorandum of Understanding between KPC and the Kosovo Cadastral Agency, on establishing cooperation between the signatory parties for access to the Register of Immovable Property Rights through web services;
- Memorandum of Cooperation between KPC and Lëvizja Fol, Internews Kosova and Debate Center, for defining joint actions for the implementation of the project which aims to increase transparency and accountability in the Justice System in Kosovo;
- Memorandum of cooperation between KPC and the Faculty of Law of the Public University of Mitrovica "Isa Boletini" for the advancement of issues of mutual interest.
KPC has continued to advance the implementation of the communication strategy, while drafting the first draft of the new Communication Strategy 2021-2023, a strategy which in its content will be more advanced.
The prosecutorial system has continued with the publication of the 24-hour report through which the public is informed about the actions of prosecutors for 24 hours regarding criminal cases such as: detentions by decision of the prosecutor, detention, seizures and controls, indictments, with special emphasis on those related to corruption and organized crime.
During this year the access to information in the prosecutorial system has been advanced considering the empowerment with human capacities.
The web portal of the prosecutorial system is enriched on a daily basis with new information that can serve the citizens.
Moreover, despite the situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Council meetings continued to be open through the online system to the media and the public.
The Kosovo Prosecutorial Council will not stop working so that communication, transparency, accountability, perception and reliability of this system achieve the deserved evaluation by the public.
The Council in cooperation with the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor has managed to coordinate and support the capacity building of prosecutors and staff during 2020. In cooperation with the Academy of Justice and other local and international partners, various training programs have been organized, based on the needs of the prosecutorial system.
As you know, most of the current composition of the Council ends its 5-year term at the end of this year. During these 5 years the Council has faced various challenges but with the work done it has achieved many successes. It is worth mentioning that during this period the Council has drafted new policies to increase efficiency in the work of prosecutors, has recruited 71 new prosecutors and has increased the number of prosecutors in the prosecutorial system by 32%, has approved 28 regulations, 9 administrative instructions , various strategies and has made 850 decisions.
This composition of the Council has advanced the process of evaluating the performance of prosecutors, the process of disciplining prosecutors, the process of electing chief prosecutors, and has also made a functional reorganization of the administration in the prosecutorial system.
- CHALLENGES DURING 2020
During our activity for 2020, in addition to the achievements, of course we also had various challenges. I would like to emphasize that among the main challenges we have faced are:
- The situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Failure to complete the composition of the Council with two (2) non-prosecutor members, since the entry into force of the Law on the Prosecutorial Council in April 2019, is not the responsibility of the Council neither the selection nor the technical procedures for announcing the vacancy;
- Insufficient budget to cover all obligations created, given that this year after the budget review by the Government of Kosovo, the budget of the prosecutorial system has been reduced by 10%;
- Lack of legislation to regulate expertise;
- Specialization of prosecutors for the treatment of characteristic crimes (corruption, organized crime, economic crime and cybercrime);
- Non-compliance with the principle of transparency through some media publications that directly affect the damage to public confidence in the prosecutorial system;
- Physical infrastructure (expansion of space for the Council and the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor);
- The suspension of the Law on Public Officials and the waiting for the Judgment of the Constitutional Court regarding this law has caused obstacles in opening competitions for recruitment, promotion and transfer of the administration of the prosecutorial system;
- Professional capacity building of the staff of the prosecutorial system.
We as a Council have taken these challenges seriously, sending numerous and substantiated budget requests to the Ministry of Finance, the Government and the Assembly.
- Planning the work of the Council for 2021
I would like to inform you that the Council is finalizing the Annual Work Plan for 2021, in which are planned the activities foreseen by the legal mandate, the Strategic Plan of the prosecutorial system 2019 - 2021 and the requirements arising from the European integration process..
As you are informed, in January 2021, the Council will begin its work with a new composition of 6 members from the 6 basic prosecutions of the Republic of Kosovo, as the mandate of the current members of these prosecutions will end on December 31, 2020. Also, the newly elected Chief Prosecutor of the Appellate Prosecution and the new Chief Prosecutors of the 5 Basic Prosecution Offices will start working in January 2021.
Also, during 2021, the process of drafting the Strategic Plan of the prosecutorial system will begin, as the current plan expires at the end of 2021.
Furthermore, reflecting on the legal changes, the Council will continue to work on drafting and approving the relevant bylaws provided for in these changes.
During 2021, the process of recruiting 8 new prosecutors is expected to be completed.
In conclusion, I inform you that in accordance with the law, the Council will publish the Work Report for 2020 at the beginning of 2021 and will make it available on the official website of the Council and in hard copy, in which case the public and you, distinguished representatives of the media, you will be informed in detail about our activities during the year we are leaving behind.
On this occasion, I thank you as representatives of the respected media for the cooperation we had during this year and wish you a happy new year, expressing once again the readiness of the Council and the prosecutorial system in general for the further advancement of cooperation in the future.”