Kosovo Specialist Chambers appoints 19 judges

The Specialist Chambers announced the names of international judges who will adjudicate war crimes committed by the KLA. The list includes numerous former EULEX employees.

The Kosovo Specialist Chambers announced the roster of 19 international judges who will be appointed to preside over cases adjudicating crimes committed by Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, members during and after the 1999 Kosovo War. The Specialist Chambers are based in The Hague but will function under Kosovo law, though all of its judicial and administrative staff members are international.

Mirroring the judicial structure of Kosovo, the Chambers will be attached to each level of the judiciary up to the Constitutional Court, a statement released by the Chambers’ press office informed.

The diverse list of international judges, which includes British, Irish, Dutch, Swiss, Italian, German, and other nationals, will perform their duties as individual judges and in panels, from pretrial hearings to the Kosovo Constitutional Court.

“I welcome the appointment of such highly qualified lawyers, each of whom – without any

doubt – will greatly contribute to our mandate of ensuring fair and efficient justice,” said the President of the Specialist Chambers, Dr. Ekaterina Trendafilova, adding that next steps include the adoption of the rules of procedure of the Specialist Chambers.

The 19 judges were appointed by Alexandra Papadopoulou, Head of the European Union Rule of Mission in Kosovo, EULEX. At least seven judges in the roster were previously employees of the EULEX mission.

Vladimir Mikula, a Czech judge appointed in the roster, was a EULEX appointed judge and presided over controversial cases such as the abuse of office case against Prizren mayor Ramadan Muja, and the visa-fraud ring led by Uke Rugova, son of former Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova Meanwhile, Antoni Balsamo and Guenael Mettraux were members of EULEX’s Human Rights Review Panel.

An appointee to the Specialist Chamber of the Constitutional Court, Vidar Stenslad used to serve as a judge in the Mitrovica Basic Court. The Italian judge Emilio Gatti and the American judge Charles Smith III have also previously worked in the Kosovo Supreme Court as EULEX appointees. Estonian Andrea Parmas has previously worked as a EULEX legal officer.

Other appointees include: Keith Raynor as Vice-President; Roland Dekkers, Anne Power-Forde and Antonio Balsamo as members of the Specialist Chamber of the Constitutional Court; and Kami Ambos, Christop Barthe, Micheal Bohlander, Nicolas Guillou, Thomas Laker, Michele Picard, Kenneth Roberts, Mappie Veld-Foglia and Christine van der Wyngaert as individual judges.

07/02/2017 - 16:02

07 February 2017 - 16:02

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.