Specialised workshops for prosecutors in Prizren

12 July 2011

As part of the mandate to monitor, mentor and advise (MMA) local prosecutors in Kosovo, EULEX is providing a series of specialized workshops on investigative techniques in Prizren. These technical trainings aim to provide prosecutors with practical tools to conduct successful investigations. A workshop about the use of telecommunication technology was organised in Prizren on Monday, 11 July.

Did you know that mobile providers register all your movements and the places you visit over the last couple of months? Normally this telecom data is used by providers to service your calls, or to register when you cross a border (in order to charge for roaming). This data can also be obtained by a prosecutor as evidence in a legal procedure, for example to verify the alibi of a suspect. However, in order to use this technique in court a prosecutor has to follow the proper legal procedure to request this information, mobile providers have to be contacted to provide raw data and a specialized unit of the police needs to prepare an analytical report. In practice, due to misunderstandings and logistical problems, the technique of geographical positioning through mobile phone is rarely used in investigations in Kosovo.

A missed opportunity, thought Cezary Michalczuk, EULEX prosecutor in Prizren. While monitoring cases of his local counterparts at the District Prosecutor Office in Prizren he identified several areas where investigations could be improved. Cezary developed a series of practical workshops as a means to mentor and advise his local colleagues on the better usage of existing investigation techniques. To target people effectively these workshops are short (maximum 1 hour) and planned at the start of a working day or during a work lunch. Previous trainings were organised on “forensics relating to weapons examination and bullets comparison’, ‘extradition requests’ and ‘international legal assistance’.

As a EULEX prosecutor Cezary is involved in several investigations in an executive capacity. However he is mainly proud of his work in monitoring, mentoring and advising his local colleagues. Cezary says: “Look, major prosecutions by EULEX may be loud and flashy, but they will not change the way our local counterparts operate. One day EULEX will leave Kosovo and I firmly believe that our obligation is to leave something behind for our local colleagues to use.”