David Schwendiman. | Photo courtesy of SPO.

Specialist Prosecutor will vacate position by April

David Schwendiman will be leaving the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office at the end of March due to “the expiry of his fixed-term appointment as a Senior Foreign Service Officer in the US State Department.”

David Schwendiman will end his mandate as Specialist Prosecutor for the Kosovo ‘Special Court’ in a little over a month.

“This must happen because the US administration is unable to overlook my status as a retiree called back into service – something the law won’t let me change regardless how much I might want to stay,” a press statement released on Thursday reads. Schwendiman originally retired from the Department of Justice  back in 2014.

Schwendiman’s term will end on March 31 of this year, as his secondment has not be renewed. However, he said that he immediately notified the EU and the Registrar of the Specialist Chambers so that they can find his successor.

Schwendiman  emphasized that he is neither being relieved from the position nor is he resigning, and that he is reluctant to leave the position.

“As I have said repeatedly since becoming the Specialist Prosecutor, speculation about our work in the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office and now in my case isn’t helpful or reliable.  I’ve also said you shouldn’t believe anything unless you hear it from me. I am making this statement to ensure you get all of this directly from me,” he said. “This is merely a change US law requires – nothing more.”

He also stressed that his departure should in no way be taken to signal a change to the policies or work of the Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office, which are mandated to prosecute crimes committed in Kosovo during 1998-2000. He said that he remains committed to the investigation, and that his deputy, Kwai Hong Ip, will take over as acting Specialist Prosecutor.

“Our witnesses needn’t fear the change,” the statement reads.

15/02/2018 - 14:31

15 February 2018 - 14:31

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