KJC concerned over Kurti’s statement: Judges are independent, interference tendencies are unacceptable

sudski savet kosova

The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, said at a conference today that he is very interested in learning how the decision to change Dejan Pantic’s detention to house arrest was made. Kurti also expressed interest in discovering who the prosecutor who submitted this request is, as well as the court that made this decision. The Kosovo Judicial Council soon reacted to Kurti’s statements, announcing that the name of the decision-maker is – a judge.

„The Kosovo Judicial Council expresses concern over Prime Minister Albin Kurti’s request to learn the name of the judge who made the legal decision to change the measure against defendant Dejan Pantic from custody to house arrest,“ this council said in a statement.

The KJC also reminded the Kosovan PM that judges are independent while performing their duties, but also that „interference tendencies are unacceptable.“

Addressing the matter of disclosure of the judge’s name, the Kosovo Judicial Council underlined: „His name is the judge of the Republic of Kosovo.“

„In response to Prime Minister Kurti’s inquiry into the name of the judge who decided on this case, the Judicial Council publicly informs Prime Minister Kurti that based on the Constitution and the law, the competent official who made this decision is called the judge of the Republic of Kosovo, whose decisions must be respected without comment, without exception, including the Government,“ the KJC concluded.

Following the arrest of the former Kosovo police officer, Dejan Pantic, nineteen days ago, local Serbs installed several barricades in the north. Pantic’s release was specified as one of the three conditions for Pristina for the barricades to be removed.

Pantic was released from custody today and placed under house arrest.

While Serbs welcomed this sudden decision, an avalanche of criticism arrived from Pristina, but also pressure on the court primarily by the ruling Self-Determination party.

Kosovo PM Albin Kurti said he is very interested in learning how the decision to change Dejan Pantic’s detention to house arrest was made.

At a press conference today, Kurti revealed that he was astounded by the decision, at the same time expressing interest in learning the identity of the judge, Pristina-based Koha reports.

„How can a man accused of terrorism be placed under house arrest,“ Kurti asked.

The Kosovan Minister of Justice, Albulena Haxhiu, also reacted, saying that with this decision – “the judiciary emboldens criminal gangs in the North.“

Kurti’s party colleagues and other officials assessed the move as „scandalous“, „a serious strike at the credibility of the prosecutor’s office and courts in Kosovo“, and „an act of betrayal“, while also bringing the sanity of the judge into question. Some of the headlines published on the portals state: „Elected vice-president of the court yesterday, released Pantic today.“



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