14 October 2009
In December 2008 EULEX Judges and Prosecutors were deployed in the Mitrovica District Court (DC). This event broke a long period of paralysis of the Mitrovica DC that had been closed since the violent incidents in March 2008. So far three trials have been held and a fourth one is ongoing. However, a functional rule of law can never be implemented unless the local judiciary is being brought back since EULEX’s mandate is to work with the local judiciary and not on behalf of it. In order to do that Kosovo-Albanian and Kosovo-Serb administrative staff from the local judiciary were brought back to the Mitrovica DC to make an inventory of the pending cases. This inventory is now close to an end and more than 3000 files have been found, organized, registered and classified. Thereafter the objective is to bring back Kosovo-Albanian and Kosovo-Serb Judges and Prosecutors in order to prosecute and adjudicate these cases together with EULEX Judges and Prosecutors. A number of the identified cases are prioritized in accordance with the criteria of sensitivity and respect of human rights. There are defendants who have been kept in detention for cases which are de facto suspended since March 2008. In order to restore justice for all in the north, and in accordance with the law, EULEX Judges and Prosecutors are taking over some urgent cases of the jurisdiction of Mitrovica DC. These steps are intended to obtain the restoration of the Rule of Law Kosovo wide, including the North of Kosovo.