HLC Kosovo Press Release : “The flight of Drenica Group members is shameful for Kosovo”
The Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo (HLC Kosovo) expresses its deep disappointment in the institutions of Kosovo, as well as civil society and parts of the media, for allowing the flight of the accused for war crimes against civilian population: Sami Lushtaku, Ismet Haxha and Sahit Jashari from their detention. This case testifies that the justice and security system cannot be seen as serious state institutions, and as such the Kosovo state cannot pretend to be a serious party, or be treated equally and with dignity by the international mechanisms and other states.
Even more concerning is the fact that the citizens of Kosovo will deepen their mistrust in the justice system and this will influence their unwillingness to cooperate. Also, the silence of the civil society vis-à-vis this act, and the justification of this act by certain media outlets, is very concerning. This shows that, in Kosovo, a climate is being created where, flights from justice, even by individuals who are bearers of public and political functions, does not disturb anybody, and is also silently being approved.
In many addresses, the Minister of Justice, Mr. Hajredin Kuçi has said that the Kosovar institutions have the capacity to deal with every case regarding justice. Yesterday’s case, however, disproves in full Minster Kuçi. Moreover, HLC Kosovo considers that the competent institutions have contributed to this situation because, despite the numerous reactions to hold the accused persons in the facilities of UCCK (University Clinical Centre of Kosovo), they did not undertake any adequate measures to prevent their escape.
HLC Kosovo appeals to the security institutions to, as soon as possible, find and arrest the defendants, and thus prevent the situation where the court’s decision is negated. Also, HLC Kosovo demands an internal investigation, so that the individuals or structures that allowed, or failed to prevent, the escape of the defendants from detention, are found and sanctioned. If this does not occur, one can conclude that, in Kosovo, the rule of law is not being applied.