Panel Discussion on “Fight against Illicit Wealth of Public Officials in Kosovo: Is there any success so far?”

On 3 November 2015, Group for Legal and Political Studies hosted a panel discussion on the topic: ‘Fight against Illicit Wealth of Public Officials in Kosovo: Is there any success so far?’ The aim of the panel was to discuss the progress of Kosovo’s institutions in fighting corruption and organized crime through the use of sequestration and confiscation of illicit wealth. Considering the important role that confiscation of illicit wealth has in the fight against corruption and organized crime, it is of high importance to discuss the main challenges of relevant institutions and opportunities for improving the entire system. Among other issues, the panel discussion focused on a) loopholes in the legislative framework, b) institutional challenges, c) comparison with international best practices, and d) the current state of intra-institutional and international cooperation.At the beginning of the discussion, GLPS presented a policy report entitled “Confiscation of Illicit Wealth: Challenges and Perspectives of the Kosovar Approach”, which identifies the main challenges and argues that the implementation of the mechanism of illicit wealth confiscation has not shown tangible results. Panelists included the British Ambassador to Kosovo, the National Coordinator for Fight Against Economic Crime, the Executive Director of the Agency for the Administration of Sequestrated or Confiscated Wealth, representatives of civil society in Kosovo, representatives of EU Member States, and other representatives from national and international mechanisms.

“Lack of integrity prevents direct foreign investments, economic development and youth employment in Kosovo.  I think and I believe that citizens of Kosovo are tired, and above all, corruption scandals have weakened their trust towards justice system in Kosovo. Kosovo needs to end its culture of impunity where nobody is held responsible and accountable for their deeds”, stated the British Ambassador to Kosovo, H.E. Ruairí O’Connell. Moreover, the Ambassador appealed to the representatives of the government to focus seriously on the fight against corruption as soon as possible.

Mr. Shqipdon Fazliu, National Coordinator on Fight against Economic Crime, said that unfortunately Kosovo continues to face serious challenges and basic problems in regards to the fight against illicit enrichment of public officials in Kosovo. “There is a rapid need for the Anti-Mafia Law to be approved which allows the confiscation of illicit wealth, without a pre-approved decision given by the Court of Appeals”, argued Mr. Fazliu.

Based on the problems identified in the fight against illicit wealth, Group for Legal and Political Studies has offered a set of policy recommendations that would establish a more comprehensive legislative and institutional framework in the fight against corruption and organized crime through the mechanism of illicit wealth confiscation, which is rooted in other successful EU practices. To access the Policy Report, please click here.

Panelists:

  1. H.E. Ruairí O’Connell – Ambassador, British Embassy in Kosovo;
  2. Mr. Shqipdon Fazliu– National Coordinator for Fight against Economic Crime;
  3. Mr. Rrahim Rama – Executive Director, Agency for the Administration of Sequestrated or Confiscated Wealth;
  4. Mr.Arton Demhasaj –  Çohu;
  5. Ms. Albana Rexha – Author of the Report, Group for Legal and Political Studies.

Venue: Swiss Diamond Hotel – Marec Hall (Square ‘Mother Theresa’ Prishtinë)