30 June 2011
The Kosovo Special Prosecution Office (SPRK) has published a report on its work during the past twelve months, highlighting the progress that has been made in the fight against serious crime including organized crime and corruption. The report covers the period between July 2010 and June 2011 and outlines the activities that SPRK has been involved in, including searches and arrests conducted under the supervision of special prosecutors, as well as the number of cases that are currently under investigation in the fields of corruption, war crimes, terrorism, organised crime and financial crime. The report contributes to the transparency and accountability of SPRK.
Isabelle Arnal, the Head of SPRK said that SPRK had effectively met the combined challenge of both UNMIK inherited cases and subsequent criminal activity.
“SPRK has made a positive start in trying to tackle some of the most difficult criminal cases facing Kosovo. I am fully aware that more needs to be done but this report shows that real progress is being made. The statistics speak for themselves. I also have to remind everyone that highly complex and difficult investigations take time. I would not expect these investigations to take place any quicker than in any EU country. So we must be patient. But already the fruits of our work are visible for everyone. For instance, the convictions in the Tisza River case, which involved human trafficking and organized crime, is a very good example,” said Arnal.
She also praised the close work between local and international staff:
“SPRK is a very good example where local prosecutors and police work very well with EULEX prosecutors. Our progress would not have been possible without this close co-operation and mutual support.
Arnal said that many challenges lay ahead but that a good start had been made in the work of SPRK. She also said it was important that strong mentoring was an important part of future work so that some executive functions can gradually be transferred purely to local staff.
During the period covered by the report, the SPRK with the full cooperation of both KP and EULEX Police undertook more than 28 pre-trial operational activities including searches and arrests. In terms of UNMIK files inherited by EULEX, out of a backlog of 179 open investigations, 111 have been concluded.
The full report can be found at: Special Prosecution Office – Statistical booklet (as of 28 June 2011) – English version