The courts are institutions in which the democracy of a country, the sovereignty and integrity of that country and the citizens living there are protected.
However, we are witnesses that the Courts in Kosovo have been influenced by politics and parapolitics. We have endless processes when politics has influenced and corrupt politicians have escaped unpunished. Finally, we have the case of Adem Grabovci and other PDK officials, who were acquitted even though they were engaged in telephone conversations, employing people without competition, and favoring people closely associated with the PDK which was in power.
Adem Grabovci and his comrades were acquitted on behalf of the people, while the people had risen in protest dozens of times against the Pronto Clan. With this and full of other post-war trials it can be easily ascertained that the Courts were captured by the parties in power, mainly by the PDK.
However, the Self-Determination Movement won the governing mandate with the promise that it would seize public institutions and among them would affect the independence of the Courts through the Vetting process . When the state took over, they were overthrown. Other parties came together to form a new government without the winner of the election. The president decreed the candidate of the second party, Avdullah Hoti, as a mandate of the Government, thus ignoring the mandate of the winning party. Vetëvendosje Movement sent this decree of the President to the Constitutional Court , which decided to temporarily suspend Thaçi’s decree, in order to decide on May 19 whether a violation was committed when the President gave the second mandate and not the winner of the election.
But the most frequently asked questions in recent days are whether this Court should be trusted. Are Constitutional Judges influenced by politics? What will be the decision to be made?
No one can prejudge the decision the Constitutional Court can make, but KosovoInsights has researched the past of the trial panel and found evidence that many of the judges are or have been politically influenced in the past.
The trial panel of the Constitutional Court consists of 9 judges. They assess whether or not a country’s constitution has been violated and make decisions based on constitutional provisions and legal and sub-legal acts.
But who are these judges of the Constitutional Court?
KosovoInsights has found that out of 9 judges, 6 of them had or have links to politics or favor and like certain politicians. While one of them was convicted of taking bribes.
Whether the assessments of these impartial judges will be will soon be known, of course, by the decisions they will take, especially in the case of the Decree. In the following, we will bring their connections to politics.
The President of the Constitutional Court, Arta Ramaj , although she has not been in any political entity, if you enter her Facebook page, you will see that she liked the page of the President of the country Hashim Thaçi and also of some politicians of the former government such as Uran Ismajli , Abelard Tahiri , Vlora Dumoshi , and Xhafer Tahiri of the LDK.
Judge Bekim Sejdiu has been a Political Adviser in the Cabinet of the First Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo. In 2010, he shared a photo with LDK leader Isa Mustafa and former Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu .
Judge Selvete Gërxhaliu Krasniqi had a direct connection to politics. Before becoming a judge of the Constitutional Court, she was a candidate of the LDK in the 2014 elections. She was number 69 on the list of candidates for LDK deputies.
The other judge, Safet Hoxha , also had a direct connection to politics. Hoxha has been an assembly member in the Municipality of Suhareka from the ranks of PDK. Also, this judge was a member of the Steering Council of PDK.
Judge Nexhmi Rexhepi was ambassador to the Netherlands when the PDK-LDK coalition was in power. It is worth noting that Mr. Rexhepi was not a career ambassador but was elected political ambassador at the time. He also liked the Facebook page of the contender for Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti and several other LDK and PDK politicians, such as Abelard Tahiri , Vlora Ismaili Dumoshi , Haki Demolli and Xhafer Tahiri .
The judge, Gresa Cakaj Nimani , is the sister of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania, Gent Cakaj . She may be influenced by her brother. It is known that recently the relations between the acting Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti and the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, have not been so good, especially when it came to the Balkan Mini-Schengen, for which Mr. Kurti did not agree. Judge Gresa Cakaj also voted in favor of Thaci’s request, which asked the Constitution to give her powers over the Assembly to sign an international agreement with the European Union, even though Kosovo is a parliamentary republic.
The judge, Radomir Laban , had an arrest warrant issued by INTERPOL . According to the Kraljevo Basic Court, he was sentenced to 6 years in prison after being found guilty of taking bribes. Laban is one of 21 convicts in the trial of the so-called Customs Mafia, which took place at the Special Court for Organized Crime in Belgrade. The CDHRF had demanded that Laban’s dubious past not be decreed without proof, but President Thaçi had nevertheless decreed it.
For the other two judges, Bajram Ljatifi and Remzie Istrefi, no connection has been found between them and politics and they are said to be professional in the responsibilities they have taken on.
Also, it is worth mentioning that the Çohu Organization had reacted on 08.07.2018, where it had called for non-decree of judges with a functioning political past.
“The presence of former political officials in the Constitutional Court undermines the integrity, impartiality and independence of the country’s highest constitutional body .” this organization had said in its letter.
In conclusion, we cannot judge the decisions that these Constitutional Court judges will make, however, our goal is to properly inform the public and deal with the consequences that may come as a result of the political past of these judges, or connections. that they may have with former rulers.
Whether or not these judges or the Constitutional Court as a whole are affected remains to be seen.
Following the decision of the Constitutional Court on the temporary suspension of the Presidential Decree, citizens through an online polly organized by Kosovo Insights responded as follows: