President Thaçi to the prosecutors: I have full confidence in you, you will have my strong support and that of the entire state of Kosovo

Prishtina, January 28, 2017 – The President of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, in his speech at the opening of the Annual Conference of Prosecutors, in front of the numerous attendees, among other things said that the confrontation with crime is a challenge in itself, but that the battle in the fight against corruption, organized crime and other negative phenomena should be permanent, determined and with zero tolerance.

The Head of State stressed that the duty of the prosecutor is sacred and that if the prosecutors perform their duties with dedication, then with their success Kosovo will be a stronger country and an even better place to live.

President Thaçi said that in our goal for truth and reconciliation we must all work and that his dedication as Head of State is for justice, truth, and ethnic reconciliation to win in the Republic of Kosova. He said that only by confronting the most serious and sensitive challenges they can help the state and will be the greatest patriots of this country.


Below is the full speech of President Thaçi at the Annual Conference of Prosecutors
 
Honorable guests,
Honorable Minister of Justice, Mrs. Hoxha,
Honorable Chief Prosecutor of State, Mr. Aleksandër Lumezi
Honorable Chairman of the Prosecutorial Council, Mr. Isufaj,
Honorable Chairman of the Judicial Council, Mr. Idrizi,
Representatives of the international community,
Honorable Ambassador, Mr. Braathu,
Honorable representatives of EULEX,
Honorable representatives of all other international mechanisms,
Honorable representatives of the European Union Office in Kosovo,
Honorable Deputy Ambassador of the United States of America,
Honorable prosecutors and you present,
Honorable guests present,
Honorable representatives of the media,
Ladies and gentleman,

Let me, at first, greet the organization of this conference and to wish that the proceedings of this conference will achieve its goals.

The Kosovo Prosecutorial system is a very important link of the rule of law in the Republic of Kosova.

The Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo guarantees for the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council to be a fully independent institution in the performance of its functions, in accordance with the law. The Council ensures equal access to justice for all persons in Kosovo, and ensures for the

State Prosecutor to be independent, professional and impartial.

Reforms have been made and are being made continuously, aimed at strengthening the prosecutorial system and the whole system of justice in the Republic of Kosovo. As you know, in 2010, the Law on the State Prosecutor and the Law on the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council have been approved, where upon entry into force of these laws the organizational structures of the Prosecution Offices have also changed.

The legislation in force guarantees the State Prosecutor to be an independent institution which exercises its functions in an impartial manner, and that the State Prosecutor and each prosecutor before the law ensures equal, objective and unprejudiced treatment for all persons, regardless of gender, race, national or social origin, associations or political connections, religious beliefs, health conditions or deficiencies, or social status.

Until now, legal acts have been issued, policy documents (strategies) have been drafted, the capacities of prosecutors have been raised through various programs funded by ourselves as a state but also from our international friends.

I would like that, starting from the Chief State Prosecutor and all of you honored prosecutors, to thank you for the work you are doing. Of course, there is always room for more to be done.

Honorable prosecutors,

Concrete steps in strengthening the prosecutorial system of Kosovo have been made, it is now up to your commitment to apply the legislation in force, to be independent, professional, impartial, dedicated to your job, and to put into practice your knowledge obtained from various training programs and the exchange of experiences.

Confrontation with crime is a challenge in itself, but the battle in the fight against corruption, organized crime and other negative phenomena should be permanent, determined and with  zero tolerance.  

You have marked many important successes, being these successes that have been evaluated, but all of us expect even more.

The duty of the prosecutor is sacred. If you perform your duty with dedication, I can freely say to you that with your success Kosovo will be a stronger country and an even better place to live.

The fight against corruption, the fight against organized crime, the battle against other negative phenomena will be permanent. It is not a battle of the past, it is not only the battle of today, but it will be a battle also for the future, it will be a long battle. I am sure that we will win.

Now, at the local institutions there is also the full executive authority with regard to war crimes. I know that by the locals and local politics you rarely hear words or messages in this regard. But, I, as President of the country, want to be very direct, very clear with you, always respecting the Constitution of Kosovo, the laws of Kosovo.

Kosovo is an independent country, is a sovereign country, is the homeland of all its citizens, without distinction, Albanians, Serbs, Bosnians, Turks, Roma, of all communities.

We are building civic democracy in Kosovo. Kosovo does not belong to an ethnicity more and to a different ethnicity less. Before the law everyone is equal.

Crime is crime, it does not become obsolete, neither will it be forgotten, nor will it acquire any legal status over time.

My dedication as President of the country is for all to work, but in particular you will have full support in your efforts for full justice, even in the most sensitive issues.

I meet family members of the massacres of Meja, and the perpetrators have not yet received the response from the justice system.

I meet citizens, family members of the massacre in Izbica. The authors of the crimes against humanity in Izbica have not received the right response.

I meet citizens, family members, associations of family members of the massacre of Studime who have not yet received the response from the justice system for those massacres, for those killings of women, children, elders which have been committed.

Also, I meet living witnesses of the massacre in the Dubrava prison. There, as well, we still don’t have the response from the justice system, neither from the internationals (despite the fact that we are grateful for the good work they have done), nor from the locals. Using, in this respect, also the earlier international experience of UNMIK, now EULEX, in close cooperation with local authorities, we request for even more work to be done.

But, at the same time I meet, visit and listen carefully also to family members of those painful events, but also of the massacre that occurred, the grave crime which also happened in Old Gracka of Lipljan, where 14 citizens were killed. The murdering of the children in Gorazhdec that also occurred after the war. I also meet associations of the missing people of Albanians, Serbs, of all together. They all unite for one request - justice. They do not ask for anything else but only for justice, and this justice should be brought by you honored prosecutors, authorities of justice also in cooperation with the international system.  

Those people who have committed crimes in Izbica are not far away, they are in our region. Also, I request an equal treatment.

My dedication as President of the country is for us all to work, and you will have the support of the state, for justice to prevail.

In our aim for truth and reconciliation we must all work, so my commitment as Head of State is for justice, truth and ethnic reconciliation to win in the Republic of Kosova.

You should be convinced that only in this manner you can help the state and will be the greatest patriots of this country, if you face the most serious and sensitive challenges. I know that those challenges are not populist, but constitute the right decisions and right approach for our country. This is in your hands, in your mechanism, in your will, in your determination.

You can be sure that you will have the full support of the state, you will have the full support of the international community.

I invite you all for a close cooperation with international authorities.

I understand that these are sensitive issues, because wherever you raise such sensitive issues by one party you will be accused, but justice should not, at any time, be influenced by the emotions of daily politics or by ethnic affiliation.

Honorable prosecutors,

In accordance with the legislation in force, from me as President of the Republic of Kosovo, I reiterate once again that you will have my strong support for the prosecution of persons accused of having committed criminal offenses and other offenses.

Honorable Chief Prosecutor of State,

Honorable international representatives,

For me it was a special pleasure to speak today in front of you and to congratulate you for the opening of this conference.

I wish you success and good luck. I have full confidence in you and you will have my strong support and the support of the entire state of Kosovo.

Thank you!