Lawyer Pantovic in an open letter to Haradinaj-Stublla: You violated the presumption of innocence

Pantović
FOTO: KoSSev

By claiming that Zoran Djokic is a „genocidal criminal,“ you grossly violated the presumption of his innocence, guaranteed by the Constitution of Kosovo and the Kosovo Criminal Procedure Code, while also expressing disrespect for the regulations of the Republic of Kosovo, Zoran Djokic’s defense lawyer Ljubomir Pantovic wrote in an open letter to Kosovo Foreign Minister, Meliza Haradinaj Stublla.

The Basic Court in Pristina, in a first instance judgment, sentenced Zoran Djokic from Pec/Peja to 12 years in prison for war crimes against civilians on Friday.

Although it is a first instance verdict, the Minister of Foreign Affairs reacted immediately afterward.

„Kosovo has taken justice into its own hands. Convicting genocidal criminal Djokic is just the start and it’s not enough, not even 12 years, not just 1 person. Serbia and all its criminals will be held accountable for the crimes against humanity in 1998-1999 in Kosovo,“ the Kosovo foreign minister tweeted.

Djokic’s lawyer, Ljubomir Pantovic sent an open letter to Stublla today. In the document that he submitted to KoSSev, he recalled that this is still not the final decision, which can be changed with an appeals process.

He also pointed out that Stublla „sent a direct message to the Kosovo judiciary that a 12-year prison sentence is insufficient.“

Below we publish Pantovic’s letter delivered to KoSSev in its entirety:

Dear Mrs. Stublla,
Two days ago, as a minister in the Government of Kosovo, you publicly commented on the first-instance, non-final verdict of the Basic Court in Pristina in the case of defendant Zoran Djokic, by calling him a ‘genocidal criminal,’ thus sending a direct message to the Kosovo judiciary that 12 years in prison is insufficient, I wish to, with the best intentions, as a lawyer – defense counsel of Mr. Djokic, draw your attention to certain facts:
• Article 31, point 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo stipulates that anyone charged with a criminal offense shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty, in accordance with the law,

• Article 3, paragraph 1 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Kosovo stipulates that any person suspected or accused of having committed a criminal offense shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty by a final court decision,

• I remind you once again, the verdict against Zoran Djokic is a first instance verdict, it is not final and can be changed with an appeals process,

• Thus, I must say, with regret, that by claiming that Zoran Djokic is a genocidal criminal, you grossly violated the presumption of his innocence, guaranteed by the Constitution of Kosovo and the Criminal Procedure Code of Kosovo, and also expressed disrespect for the regulations of the Republic of Kosovo.

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