14 December 2020
In an exclusive interview for Klan Kosova, the Head of the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX), Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, talked about the truth behind many media reports on EULEX’s role and support for the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office, the recent media reports regarding an alleged search operation at the office of Kosovo’s Acting President, EULEX’s role in the recent discovery of human remains in Kizevak, and the Mission’s monitoring of selected cases in Kosovo’s justice system.
Asked about the operations of the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office (SPO), which resulted in the arrest of former KLA members, Wigemark explained that there is a misunderstanding that EULEX is making the arrests and noted: “What you see on TV and in photos is mostly EULEX vehicles and members of our Formed Police Unit. But they are there only to support the SPO.” The EULEX Head stressed that the SPO carried out the recent operations and arrests in Kosovo on the basis of a court order: “Their representatives come here in Kosovo. We are obliged by the Kosovo law to support them, to provide logistic and operational support, together with the Kosovo Police.”
Asked to comment on whether EULEX provided support for an alleged raid at the President’s Office, Wigemark categorically denied this: “The morning after the resignation of President Thaci, we were contacted by madam Osmani and we were asked whether it is correct that EULEX is about to conduct a search at the President’s Office. We replied that there is no such plan. There are two untruths here. First of all, EULEX does not conduct any searches and secondly -and more importantly- there was never such a plan.”
Speaking about EULEX’s robust systemic and thematic monitoring of selected cases at the entire chain of the criminal justice system, Wigemark said: “These days, we are often asked by prosecutors and judges to monitor their cases. Why is that? Because unfortunately there is still interference in the judiciary.”
Regarding the excavations in Kizevak and the role of EULEX in the identification of the exact location where the human remains were found, the Head of Mission mentioned that EULEX’s forensic experts analyzed aerial images from 1999 and managed to pinpoint the exact location of the site. Wigemark noted that the Mission’s forensic experts are embedded in Kosovo’s Institute of Forensic Medicine.
Watch the first part of the interview (min 2:38)
Watch the second part of the interview