K.Serb judges and prosecutors officially resign, their Albanian colleagues take over urgent cases


An avalanche of resignations of Serbs in Kosovo institutions in the north continues. Judges, prosecutors, and other judicial staff have also tendered their resignations. Although the president of the court told the media that the Judicial Council tried to help with certain issues by appointing the chairman Zogaj, nevertheless, she stresses that parts of the Brussels Agreement on the judiciary were still violated.

„This is the announcement I made two days ago. Today, the judges who did not send their resignations to the Judicial Council of Kosovo yesterday did so through official emails. Our Albanian colleagues and administrative workers are still working in the court, and all Serb administrative staff and judges have resigned. Now we are simply waiting for the way in which we will deal with the cases and the equipment, and the office we used. I am speaking on my own behalf, I am not returning, and I leave the rest to the politicians,“ said the judge of the Appellate Court in Pristina and member of the judicial council in Pristina, Nikola Kabasic.

„I said everything I had to say yesterday, and as far as the organization of the work is concerned, we spoke to our colleagues all morning and drafted a good plan so that we don’t miss any deadlines. Our Albanian colleagues have taken over our cases, cases that are urgent, and I think that at the moment they have a big problem of how to organize it all,“ said Ljiljana Stevanovic, president of the Basic Court in Mitrovica, adding that they tried to help as much as they could.

„We never had a single problem with our colleagues. We did the job, professionally, we socialized, we cooperated and there won’t be any problems today. It will be just a little harder for them to organize it all and I understand them. All colleagues helped as much as they could this morning. Finally, we just want to thank all the people we worked with. We are the best court. This is the only multi-ethnic court in Kosovo and this is the court that is truly the best in terms of results.“

„Today we made arrangements with the colleagues and handed over the cases. Everyone ceased working and only Albanian colleagues remained,“ the judge emphasized.

When asked whether she would ever consider returning to her job in the court, Stevanovic replied that the question was „inappropriate at this time.“

„I don’t want to comment on that and these things need to settle down. Since we have been here, we have been pointing out the ways the Brussels Agreement is being violated.“

The police officers from the north handed in their equipment this morning at the station in North Mitrovica, situated near the court. They arrived both in small groups, but also individually. Since this morning, there are no policemen left to patrol the streets of the north. Serbs employed as EULEX’s external security also resigned.

In the meantime, ten Srpska Lista MPs in the Kosovo parliament stepped down from their posts. The move finally arrived this morning following years of failed promises to resign, even after providing specific details for doing so.

All political and institutional representatives of Kosovo Serbs, including the police and the judiciary, decided to resign from their positions in all Kosovo institutions in the north. Although several officials and employees said that they would submit their irrevocable resignations, they set two conditions for their return – for the Prime Minister of Kosovo to withdraw the decision on (re)registration of license plates to RKS and to form the Association of Serb Municipalities.

The latest license plate-related crisis is underway in Kosovo. The Kosovo government decided to introduce re-registration from Serbian plates with markings of towns in Kosovo to RKS in phases. The process is expected to be over by April 21st, 2023. Belgrade and Srpska Lista oppose the decision, emphasizing that the KM plates will remain, and demanding the return of the so-called status-neutral KS plates.

International diplomats support the decision of the Kosovo authorities, indicating that it is part of the Brussels Agreement, while also demanding from Pristina to postpone all actions for the next 10 months. Nevertheless, the first phase – the issuance of reprimands – resumed, prompting the police of the region north and the mayors to announce earlier this week that they will not implement that decision. The police commander of the region north was then suspended, which was followed by a mass departure from the institutions.

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