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The Ombudsperson of Republic of Kosovo has published today the Report with Recommendations regarding release of SOE properties, privatized by Privatization Agency of Kosovo, from illegal occupants.

The scope of this Report is to draw attention of the Privatization Agency of Kosovo (PAK), Kosovo Police and the State Prosecution regarding occupation of the privatized properties by illegal occupants.

Legal competency of the Ombudsperson is based on Article 18, paragraph 1.2 of the Law on Ombudsperson No. 05/L-019, to: “draw attention to cases when the institutions violate human rights and to make recommendation to stop such cases and when necessary to express his/her opinion on attitudes and reactions of the relevant institutions relating to such cases.”

Furthermore, paragraph 1.7 of the same Article, authorizes the Ombudsperson “to recommend promulgation of new Laws in the Assembly, amendments of the Laws in force and promulgation or amendment of administrative and sub-legal acts by the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo.”

The Report is based on three separate complaints lodged by the complainants versus PAK, regarding illegal occupation of their properties, purchased from PAK through process of privatization of socially owned enterprises.

During case analyses, the Ombudsperson has observed that there is hesitation from the Courts to decide regarding civil lawsuits for release of occupied properties. Nevertheless, the Ombudsperson notes that the illegal occupation of property is a criminal offence sanctioned by Article 332 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kosovo, No.04/082, and in specific cases, Kosovo Police and the relevant Prosecutions ought to undertake tangible steps prior the cases are proceeded in civil proceedings.

The Ombudsperson recalls that the right to protection of property is guaranteed by Article 46 of the Constitution of Republic of Kosovo and Article 1 of the Protocol No.1 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Furthermore, Article 3 of the Constitution of Republic of Kosovo foresees equality before the law, while Article 2, paragraph 3 of the Law on Privatization Agency of Kosovo which in pertinent part reads:

“The present Law shall be implemented in accordance with the principles set forth in the European Convention on Human Rights and its Protocols.”

Given the principle of legality as well as with the aim to improve and increase the efficiency of the public authorities, the Ombudsperson, in compliance with Article 135 paragraph 3, of the Constitution of Republic of Kosovo as well as Article 18 paragraph 1.2 of the Law on Ombudsperson, accordingly recommends:

  1. Privatization Agency of Kosovo to amend the Decision No. 270/2014 of the date 21 November 2014 also for the properties for which the Agency holds responsibility for the legal shortcomings of accomplishment, which were sold before 21 November 2014.

  1. Kosovo Police to act according to general duties and powers determined with Article 10, paragraph 1, point 1, point 2 and point 5, of the Law No. 04/l-076 on Police and to proceed cases of illegal occupation of privatized properties to the respective public prosecution offices in compliance with Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code;

  2. Public prosecutions to initiate criminal proceedings against occupants of privatized properties in compliance with Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code.

Ombudsperson’s full Report regarding release of SOE properties, privatized by Privatization Agency of Kosovo from illegal occupants has been addressed today, on 19 April 2016 to the responsible authorities.

Pursuant to Article 132, paragraph 3 of the Constitution of Republic of Kosovo and Article 28 of the Law on Ombudsperson No.05/L-019, the Ombudsperson awaits to be informed on actions that respective authorities will undertake regarding this issue, as a respond to above given recommendations, within a reasonable time limit, but no later than 30 days from the submission of this Report.

Full Report with Recommendations, as it has been delivered to the responsible authorities, can be found on Ombudsperson’s official webpage (click here for the full Report).  The same has been disseminated to media as well.

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