Regional Conference on the legal status of individuals who report corruption cases

Prishtina, October 14, 2013 – Today, FOL Movement held the Regional Conference on “Anti-Corruption Legal Package – The Law on Protection of Informers”. This regional conference was a meeting point between various institutions of the Republic of Kosovo, civil society of Kosovo and Region as well. The conference aimed to pave the way in preventing and fighting the high-level of corruption in Kosovo and to promote further the “law on Protection of Informers “approved by Assembly in 2011.

The participants in this meeting were representatives from central and local institutions of Republic of Kosovo, representatives of the judiciary and prosecution, representatives of civil society from region and Kosovo and media.

Hajredin Kuçi – Minister of Justice , stated “Kosovo, currently has the best laws in the region regarding prevention and fighting corruption, it is thanks to the work of local relevant experts and assistance that was given to them by the international community, in spite of this, the largest mission of the European Union rule of Law is present in Kosovo ” . When focusing on the Law on Protection of Informers, Kuçi said that “there are legal foundations to fight corruption. These legal foundations include also two laws approved by institutions such as the Law on Protection of Informers and Law on Witnesses Protection, which protect individuals and employees if they report corruption cases or other criminal offenses”. He further added that “It should be clearly defined the main authority in preventing and fighting corruption, laws which fight corruption should be harmonized and there should be a greater cooperation among regional countries against these phenomena.”

Slagjana Tasheva from Transparency International in Macedonia said that “Corruption appears in various forms and fighting it is done through various mechanisms, and of them is licking information by employees, where among the most important elements is the instance which would be responsible for the acceptance, protection and tracking information”. Further, she added that “Macedonia, unlike Kosovo, has no specific law that protects individuals who report corruption affairs and that the relevant legislation in this area is not clear.”

Vuk Mara� from MANS – Montenegro said that “Llegal gaps inside the law, often aim to cover the lack of political will to implement them.” He further added that “Montenegro faces major problems in the field of preventing and fighting corruption, even until recently there was not a law that would protect whistleblowers of this phenomenon.” In the end he stated that “Although recently, the Government of Montenegro approved the Law on Protection of corruption reporters, this law is still not applicable and therefore it is inefficient.”

Besim Kelmendi from State Special Prosecution said “Law on Protection of Informers should be promoted further, and that citizens should be encouraged to report corrupt and legally protect them.”

Enver Peci, Chairman of the Kosovo Judicial Council said “Kosovo as a new country is experiencing problems with law enforcement, but such a thing should not discourage us and application of these laws is not impossible.” He further added, “Establishment of protective mechanisms which come from laws seem to be difficult, and therefore it’s needed the adjustment and function of the laws once they are approved approval.”

Drita hajdari – Anti-Corruption Prosecutor stressed that “We should make a comparison and a distinction between the Law on Protection of informers and Witnesses Protection Law, by clarifying legal concepts.”

At the end of the Regional Conference, there were some recommendations, among them as follows:
– Changing the name of the law;
– Clear definition of reporting corruption system;
– Clarifying protection means of individuals reporting corruption;
– Clarifying sanctions against individuals responsible in case of non-tracking information and discovering the identity of individuals reporting corruption;
– Creation of a judicial police handling corruptive cases, and
– Intensifying regional cooperation in fighting organized crime and corruption.

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