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17.3.2015

OMBUDSPERSON’S RESPONSE

Prishtinë, 17 March 2015 – On the statement of March 9th, 2015 the Ombudsperson has informed the public regarding investigation that has been conducted regarding participation of the president of Constitutional Court Mr. Enver Hasani on the Referral KO155/14 relating to mandate extension for three international judges. Based on the internal EULEX Mission Memo, published for Prishtina Insight, as well as according to claims displayed by President Hasani himself on TV program Betimi për Drejtësi, derives that Mr. Hasani was in direct contacts with European Union and EULEX Mission Officials to ensure exactly this mandate extension which is being disputed by the Ombudsperson. This issue exposes an apparent conflict of interest.  Nevertheless, instead of recusing himself from participation on case referral, he appointed himself as a reviewing panel member.


In order to discover the nature, level, content and duration of the contacts that president Hasani has had with the EU and EULEX Mission Officials, the Ombudsperson has addressed a set of questions to the following officials, local and international, involved in this issue: President Atifete Jahjaga; Special Representative of the European Union Office, Mr. Zhbogar; Head of EULEX Mission, Mr. Meucci, as well as to the President of the Constitutional Court, Mr. Enver Hasani himself. As per these questions the Ombudsperson has been pronounced on March 9th as following:


 


“The Ombudsperson has provided the four responsible officials every opportunity, based on the law, to respond to his inquiries in the scope of regular cross-institutional communication. President Jahjaga and Mr. Zhbogar have been addressed by the Ombudsperson even three times with the same questions. But all responsible officials have completely disregarded letters submitted by the Ombudsperson or have firmly refused to respond to his questions. This complete failure for cooperation, according to the Law on Ombudsperson “is considered obstruction of Ombudsperson’s work”.


The Ombudsperson reiterates that all given allegations were and continue to be completely accurate. This is attested with the entire publication of the correspondence that the Ombudsperson has had with four officials, including definite refusal of President Jahjaga and Special Representatives Zhbogar to answer to Ombudsperson’s inquiry.


Allegations from the Presidency that “response on inquiries addressed by the Ombudsperson has been timely provided”, is incorrect. Six specific questions have been addressed to President Jahjaga by the Ombudsperson regarding this issue  while the President has refused to respond even to single one, stating that ” President of Republic of Kosovo/ Office of the President of Republic of Kosovo does not comment the work of other independent and professional institutions, specifically about the work of the Constitutional Court.”   This categorical rejection to respond to questions set forth by the Ombudsperson constitutes pure violation of the Constitution of Republic of Kosovo, which stipulates that “Every organ, institution or other authority exercising legitimate power of the Republic of Kosovo is bound to respond to the requests of the Ombudsperson and shall submit all requested documentation and information in conformity with the law.” Furthermore, according to the Law on Ombudsperson, refusal or failure to cooperate with Ombudsperson is “considered obstruction to his work”. This is language of law.


As per Special Representative Mr. Zhbogar, it is indisputable and attested fact that he, like the President of the State, on his and on behalf of the Head of EULEX Mission Meucci, categorically has rejected to respond on questions set forth, stating that “it would be inappropriate for me to comment on your ex-officio initiative relating to the activities of the President of the Constitutional Court”. Thus, when the European Union Office claims that “our response has been provided in appropriate manner and timely” and “it was within the scope of our respective mandate”, they conceal purposely from the public the fact that Special Representative Mr. Zhbogar has refused to answer on questions set forth.


Unfortunately, through such rejections of the President and Special Representative, jointly with last statements of the Presidency and European Union Special Representatives Office we have come to the lowest level of public responsibility in the Republic of Kosovo, where officials of the highest level have become so non-transparent in a way that they are trying to hide the fact of their non-transparency.


A simple question rests in the core of this case: What is to be hidden? Why the President Jahjaga and Special Representative Mr. Zhbogar fail to respond to very simple questions relating to their contacts with president Hasani regarding this issue. What kind of information, communication and documents are they hiding? Why are they trying to hide their total refusal to cooperate regarding these investigations on their last statements?


Citizens of the Republic of Kosovo have right to be informed regarding this issue and the Ombudsperson will be persistent on his demands until all facts about this issue are revealed to the public.


 


Therefore, the Ombudsperson once again calls upon the four officials to respond to the set forth questions. Specifically, the Ombudsperson calls upon President Jahjaga to abide with the Constitution and reveal all requested information and documents regarding this case.

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