Thaci’s office: Kosovo no longer needs EULEX

The Office of the Kosovo President, Hashim Thaci announced that the mandate of EULEX would not be continued and there would be no exchange of letters between this office and the European Union about the EULEX mission in Kosovo, RTK2 reported, referring to RTK and Insajderi’s reports. EULEX provided support to the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, whose Special Prosecutor’s Office announced two days ago that it had filed a war crime indictment against Hashim Thaci and Kadri Veseli with the court two months ago.

EULEX’s mandate expired this month. Without an exchange of letters, the EULEX mission in Kosovo is illegal and they cannot continue to stay in Kosovo without the consent of Kosovo institutions, RTK reported.

„Now is the time to transfer all EULEX competencies to local institutions. Kosovo no longer needs EULEX, but will accept any EU support to strengthen law and order – as is the case in countries in the region. EULEX no longer has the mandate to stay in Kosovo,“ the office of the Kosovo president said in a response to the inquires of the Insajderi portal.

The Office of the President pointed out that the Presidency of Kosovo saw no reason to continue the current mandate of EULEX, especially because Kosovo institutions have been “fully competent to perform any task for a while now.”

„Kosovo institutions have been able to take over all of EULEX’s competencies for a while now. The Kosovo authorities have, therefore, requested that EULEX’s mandate and EU presence be reduced in the area of the rule of law and that its presence be the same as in other countries in the region,“ the response said.

In addition, the Kosovo President’s Office said that there has been a lot of pressure to continue the existing EULEX mandate, adding that Kosovo President, Hashim Thaci said at meetings that the EULEX mandate was extended in 2018, which marked the last time the mandate of this mission was extended.

„There was no exchange of letters or negotiations on the extension of EULEX’s mandate. For several weeks now, there has been a huge pressure to extend the existing mandate,“ the President’s Office said in a statement.

KoSSev: EULEX provided logistical support to the Special Court in The Hague

When the last exchange of letters with the then EU Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, took place in June 2018, the end of the mission’s executive mandate was planned, as well as a reduction in its role as a „companion and advisor“ – the Kosovo presidency announced at the time.

„The mandate of the EULEX mission expires on June 15th, 2018, and the next one will be focused on the completion of the full transfer of competencies to the Kosovo authorities, as well as on the conclusion of the mission,“ the Kosovo presidency also underlined.

EULEX’s mandate lasted until June 14th, 2020, when this mission was responsible for overseeing certain cases and trials in Kosovo’s criminal and civil justice institutions, overseeing, teaching and advising the Kosovo Penitentiary Service, and providing operational support to the implementation of agreements reached via a dialogue mediated by the EU. The mission was also responsible for continuing to play its role as the second security intervention body.

EULEX Kosovo, however, also had the mandate to provide support to relocated court proceedings in The Hague in accordance with the relevant Kosovo legislation.

In practice, this meant that the EULEX mission provided support to the investigations of the Special Prosecutor’s Office, which consisted of serving summonses for hearings, but also of organizing hearings in Kosovo.

Yesterday, the son of the former member of the Kosovo Liberation Army’s General Staff, Adem Zogjani announced that his father was invited by the EULEX mission on Thursday morning, and that he was „transferred to The Hague, without his knowledge and the knowledge of his family“.

The SPO announced two days ago that they filed an indictment with the Kosovo Specialist Chambers against several people on April 24th. The SPO, however, only disclosed the names of two people from the indictment – the Kosovo President Hashim Thaci and PDK leader Kadri Veseli.

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