Photo: Arbrita Uka/BIRN

Disciplinary Proceedings Initiated against Prosecutor in Femicide Case

After Kosovo’s Constitutional Court conclusion that institutions failed to protect Sebahate Morina, who was killed by her ex-husband, the State Prosecutor has initiated disciplinary proceedings against the prosecutor who handled the case.

On Wednesday, the Chief State Prosecutor initiated disciplinary action against the prosecutor in the case of Sebahate Morina, who was killed by her ex-husband on March 14, 2021.

This action comes after the decision of the Constitutional Court of Kosovo that the justice institutions have failed to protect Morina’s life, that was a victim of femicide.

QIKA NGO, organized a protest on Wednesday, demanding from the State Prosecution to initiate disciplinary measures and dismiss of prosecutor Kujtim Munishi, who was in charge of Morina’s case.

“The Office of the Chief State Prosecutor informs the general public that after the decision of the Constitutional Court regarding the case of the late Sebahate Morina, the competent authority within the institution of the State Prosecutor has initiated the disciplinary procedure against the prosecutor of this case,” reads the official announcement, published on Wednesday.

Sebahate Morina was killed by her ex-husband, Lulzim Sopi, on March 14, 2021, 11 days after her daughter had reported her mother’s physical abuse to the police.

After killing her, her ex-husband then committed suicide.

In a decision published on March 22, the Constitutional Court of Kosovo found that the state failed to fulfill its obligations and protect the life of Sebahate Morina.

“The court unanimously decided that the request is admissible and found that the Kosovo Police, namely the Police Station in Graçanica and the State Prosecutor, namely the Basic Prosecutor’s Office in Pristina, have failed to fulfill: (i) their positive obligations to protect the life of S.M., as guaranteed by paragraph 1 of Article 25 [Right to Life] of the Constitution and paragraph 1 of Article 2 (Right to Life) of the European Convention on Human Rights…” is written in the decision, among others.

The case was brought to the Constitutional Court by the daughter of Sebahate Morina, Velerda Sopi, who accused state authorities of inaction that led to the violating the right to life of her mother, guaranteed by the constitution.

QIKA NGO blamed the state institutions for the murder of Sebahate Morina.

“The state is guilty for the murder of Sebahate Morina”, read the banner of QIKA.

Leonida Molliqaj, Executive Director of QIKA, said that even after the decision of the Constitutional Court, there was no resignation or dismissal of the responsible persons.

“Even though it has been two weeks since the decision of the Constitutional Court, which makes the Prosecutor’s Office and the Police responsible for not protecting the right to life of Sebahate Morina, no step has been taken by the [responsible] institutions,” she said to the reporters.

Meanwhile, Adelina Berisha from Kosovo Women’s Network, has requested the dismissal of those responsible and involved in the Morina case.

“Our request is very clear, we ask the chief state prosecutor to immediately carry out disciplinary procedures against the chief prosecutor of the Basic Prosecution in Prishtina, Mr. Kujtim Munishi, for all violations [recorded] in the case of the deceased – Sebahate Morina, and [also against] the prosecutor who was specifically in charge of the case. We also ask the General Directorate of Police to dismiss those who did not address and handle the case as required by the legal framework,” noted Berisha.

According to the Kosovo Democratic Institute, KDI, and the Kosovo Women’s Network, KWN, Morina’s ex husband had been reported for domestic violence in 2019 as well, when he was held in custody; Morina had then been under police protection.

Protection measures expired in December 2020, nearly three months before she was murdered.

A group of collective activists blamed the judicial institutions for the femicide in the country, which could have been prevented according to them.

“The State Prosecutor justified that Sebahate was not willing to take the case to court and refused to come for a second, explanatory interview,” stated the activists, adding that the Prishtina Basic Prosecution was to blame for “failing to protect” her as well as for “blaming the victim … for not reporting the abuse herself”.

Two more femicides took place in Kosovo, at the end of 2022.

A 70-year-old man killed his 63-year-old wife, a primary school teacher, in Prishtina on November 25, 2022.

A few days later, on November 30, 2022, a pregnant woman was shot dead by her husband, outside a hospital in Prishtina.

The vast majority of domestic violence victims in Kosovo are women; in 2020, six women were killed by their partners..

Reported domestic violence cases in Kosovo have increased in recent years. Police reported about 1,914 cases in 2019, but the number rise to 2,069 in 2020. In 2021, 2,456 cases of domestic violence were recorded while in 2022 the number increased to 2,793.

05/04/2023 - 16:35

05 April 2023 - 16:35

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