The Trepca mining compound. | Photo: Atdhe Mulla

Special Chamber: Trepca law is unconstitutional

The Special Chamber of the Kosovo Supreme Court requested the Constitutional Court to reevaluate the law for Trepca, claiming it was unconstitutional.

The request was issued by Werner K. Kannenberg, a EULEX judge who is dealing with the lawsuit against Trepca’s debtors. According to the Special Chamber’s press release from Thursday, Kannenberg concluded that the law is unconstitutional.

According to the press release, the law expropriates Trepca without any compensation, the sum of which could then be used to compensate creditors. Additionally, the fact that the expropriation would benefit other private persons is also part of the reasoning.

Three days ago, Kosovo President Hashim Thaci signed the Law for Trepca, which shifts the enterprise into the possession of the Government of Kosovo and its workers. The President’s decision came after the Constitutional Court ruled that the law is in compliance with the constitution of Kosovo.

Muhamet Mustafa, head of the Parliamentary Commission for Economic Development, reacted against Kannenberg’s request to evaluate the law.

“I would like to assure the public opinion and anyone interested that the Law for Trepca does not expropriate anybody’s right (not even the creditors), but also ensures that no claim can stop the process of Trepca’s consolidation promoted through the law approved in the assembly,” Mustafa wrote on his official Facebook profile.

He said that according to current legislation, in principle the debt accompanies the assets and whoever takes over the assets must also inherit the debt. Mustafa clarified that the obligations of those units which have been transferred to the Trepca Joint Stock Company will be taken over by the enterprise, specifically by its shareholders.

Mustafa explained that if the units that have been transferred to the government’s supervision have connected debts, they will be dealt with according to the Law for Public Enterprises.

According to Mustafa, the formulation of the articles regarding the creditors in the Law for Trepca was done carefully in collaboration with the Kosovo Privatization Agency, KPA.

“If there is any uncertainty regarding the provisions that regulate the obligations connected to the certain assets that entered Trepca, it can be fixed through a detailed review with the Kosovo Privatization Agency, but this in no way makes the law unconstitutional,” Mustafa wrote.

He also replied to the statement by the judge that expropriation cannot be carried out to move assets to private persons.

“The legal aspects of this request need to be evaluated by lawyers, but it is surprising to me that [the Special Chamber’s request] claims that workers cannot become shareholders, a well-known phenomenon in modern corporations, and it is not limited by any law in Kosovo,” said Mustafa.

04/11/2016 - 15:55

04 November 2016 - 15:55

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