Next Ombudsperson’s Report with Recommendations, which has been delivered today to the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council, Chief State Prosecution, Kosovo Judicial Council as well as Kosovo Judicial Institute as responsible parties, concerns defendant’s rights in the criminal procedure- at the stage of investigation and filing of the indictment.
The case has been initiated after parties’ complaints through which they have expressed their concern for violation of their right upon filing of the indictment by the Special Prosecution of the Republic of Kosovo within the Serious Crimes Department of the Basic Court in Gjilan, who were not been informed about this action by the Prosecution, but become aware of that through media, which comprises failure to accomplish the liability of informing of the parties by the Prosecution.
In the given case, the Ombudsperson ascertains that there is violation of the basic right of the defendant persons in the criminal proceedings, to be informed promptly after filing of the indictment and before this fact became public in the media. Subsequently, action of the Special Prosecution violated the equality principle of the parties in the procedure, and also, broadcasting of the information through media for filling of indictment without prior notification of the accused persons, is opposite with the prosecution’s liability for protection of human dignity and constitutes violation of the principle of presumption of innocence as well.
Purpose of this report is to draw attention to the indispensability of protection of human dignity, implementation of the presumption of innocence and other rights of persons that may be an object of investigation and of charges for criminal offences, as well as to argue the violation of rights of parties in the criminal procedure, through identifying also violation of legal provisions in the case about which the persons accused have complained, through correct interpretation of legal provisions guaranteeing these rights and which are binding for justice bodies.
Based on statements of the parties who have lodged complaints as well as based on legal analyses, the Ombudsperson has ascertained that there is no legal gap from the regular standpoint of the rights of the defendant persons in the criminal procedure (at the stage of investigation and filing of the indictment), but the problem lies on the failure to implement legal liabilities by the justice bodies, as is the case of filling of an incitement by the Special Prosecution and it broadcasting through media without preliminary notification of persons involved in the indictment.
Therefor the Ombudsperson has recommended to Kosovo Prosecutorial Council and Chief State Prosecutor to respect the rights of defendant persons in order to be timely informed about the indictment against them and to enable them to use efficiently the legal right for objecting the indictments, to respect the principle of presumption of innocence and protection of dignity of defendant persons in compliance with CPC, Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo and International Standards (especially ECHR). In respecting these principles to notify the public about the stage of investigation. In relation to the cases of the filing of the indictment, persons accused should be always informed before giving the notice to media. To Kosovo Judicial Council the Ombudsperson addresses with the Recommendation to instruct all Basic Courts in the Republic of Kosovo, in order that judges in pre-trial procedure are additionally careful for the respect of rights of defendant persons at the stage of investigation and the filing of the indictment, whereas to the Kosovo Judicial Institute he recommends to provide additional training within their programme focused on the rights of the defendant person at the stage of investigation and the filing of the indictment, in conformity with highest human rights standards.
Full Report with Recommendations is available for the public in OI official web page as well as is distributed to media.
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