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09.3.2015

STATEMENT OF THE OMBUDSPERSON

Prishtinë, 9 March 2015 – Ombudsperson would like to inform the public that the President of the Republic of Kosovo, Atifete Jahjaga; European Union special representative, Samuel Zhbogar; and Head of EULEX Mission, Gabriele Meucci, are hampering investigation that the Ombudsperson is conducting regarding doubts for constitutional and legal violations, accomplished by the President of Constitutional Court, Mr. Enver Hasani.


The Ombudsperson has informed the public last week about ongoing investigation undertaken concerning involvement of three international judges in referral KO155/14, through which the Ombudsperson has disputed President Jahjaga’s Decree on extension of mandate for three international judges.[1] Apart this investigation, the Ombudsperson Institution is also investigating the fact that president Hasani has been involved in the procedure of this case apart his close relations with European Union and EULEX Mission to ensure precisely this mandate extension that Ombudsperson disputes. These contacts have been confirmed by the internal MEMO of EULEX Mission, published in Prishtina Insight magazine as well as by President Hasani himself on TV program Betimi për Drejtësi. Despite the apparent conflict of interest that he had, President Hasani instead of recusing himself from the case procedure, he appointed himself as member of reviewing panel.


Based on the given facts, the Ombudsperson has addressed to the President Jahjaga, Mr. Zhbogar and Mr. Meucci, but to President Hasani as well, a set of questions in order to be informed regarding the nature, content, the level and duration of contacts between President Hasani, European Union Officials and EULEX Mission. Apart this issue the Ombudsperson was keen to know if President Hasani had contacts, at any time prior to publication of Constitutional Court Ruling in Refferal KO155/14, with president Jahjaga regarding mandate extension for Constitutional Court international judges. President Jahjaga was responsible party in disputing the Ombudsperson and was, like President Hasani, party in discussion with the European Union and the EULEX Mission as per the procedure for mandate extension.


As in all cases the Ombudsperson has provided to 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. All responsible officials have completely disregarding letters submitted by the Ombudsperson or have firmly refused to respond to his questions. This complete failure to cooperate, according to the Law on Ombudsperson “is considered obstruction of Ombudsperson’s work”.


In President’s Hasani case and particularly categorical refusal of President Jahjaga for cooperation with Ombudsperson constitutes violation of the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo, which clearly 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.”


The Ombudsperson notices that refusal of President Hasani to respond in this case follows the same model of his refusal to respond on questions for keeping in secret judge Carolan’s recusal from Referral KO155/14. This extraordinary disregard of constitutional and legal norms has no place within Kosovo Republic institutions, particularly within the Court, whose main role is to protect basic values of a democratic society.


Of the same concern the Ombudsperson considers the fact of President Jahjaga refusal to respond not only about the contacts that President Hasani has had with European Union and the EULEX Mission but also about questions regarding the contacts that the Presidency might have had with president Hasani, or during talks with EU and EULEX or at any other time regarding mandate extension for three international judges. This decisiveness not to respond to questions urges us to think about what or who is pushing President Jahjaga to violate even the Constitution in order to hide crucial evidence in these investigations?


Rejection of President Hasani and President Jahjaga to cooperate with the Ombudsperson present subsequent proof of the stressful reality in our country: as higher the position of the official is in the state hierarchy of the Republic of Kosovo the lower is respect shown for the Constitution and law at force. This is devastation of the role of law base.


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[1] Many issues remain still unclarified for the Ombudsperson apart “explanations “ provided by the Constitutional Court (see Ombudsperson’s response at http://www.ombudspersonkosovo.org/sq/lajme/REAGIM-I-AVOKATIT-TE-POPULLIT-1318)

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