Photo: Supreme Court of Kosovo

BIRN and Internews Report: Courts Aren’t Punishing Corruption in Line with Guideline

Report on court verdicts in 2021 highlights that courts are still not following Supreme Court guidelines, and often impose very mild sentences for corruption.

Balkan Investigative Reporting Network and Internews Kosova on Wednesday published their latest court monitoring report, “Immunity to Corruption”, containing the findings of the analysis of 40 corruption case verdicts during 2021.

The report shows how the courts in these cases have not implemented punitive policy in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court of Kosovo.

Other findings highlight the low sentences imposed in corruption cases and the circumstances that have been taken into account for the imposition of these lower sentences. The report reveals that there is often no justification for aggravating and mitigating circumstances in court judgments in corruption cases.

Minister of Justice Albulena Haxhiu, who was present at the publication of the report, thanked BIRN and Internews for the work they do for the justice system with the monitoring reports.

“This report, and these cases that have been under the magnifying lens of the monitors, should be placed under the magnifying lens of the mechanisms of the Judicial Council on the issue of performance and professionalism of judges or trial panels that have issued such decisions,” Haxhiu said on Facebook.

She expressed concern that, according to this report, the Supreme Court guidelines have not resulted in their full implementation when it comes to imposing fines and the Special Guide for Corruption Cases.

The Minister pledged to continue justice reform, with a special emphasis on vetting and the Bureau for Confiscation of Unjustifiable Wealth, implementing the recommendations of the Venice Commission.

The President of the Supreme Court, Enver Peci, said that the BIRN report and the data it has collected are helpful to the judicial system.

Peci stressed the need to establish clear modalities in future, which will analyze implementation of the Supreme Court guidelines on penal policy, so that organizations monitoring the judicial system do not come up with different findings on the same issues.

The Chairman of the Kosovo Judicial Council, Albert Zogaj, said the topic of punitive policy in corruption cases occupies a special importance in the work and processes of further reform of the judicial system.

This was the 16th monitoring report of the judicial and prosecutorial system in Kosovo conducted by BIRN and Internews.

23/06/2022 - 13:49

23 June 2022 - 13:49

Prishtina Insight is a digital and print magazine published by BIRN Kosovo, an independent, non-governmental organisation. To find out more about the organization please visit the official website. Copyright © 2016 BIRN Kosovo.