Former head judge of the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) Malcom Simmons sent a letter to Kosovo Prime Minister, Albin Kurti, containing a summary of the statement he would give if invited by the Parliament of Kosovo for an inquiry into his claims about the mission’s alleged wrongdoings.
Simmons has requested to be heard by Parliament for months now. In his letter to Kurti, Simmons wrote that his statement should make it clear why the EU should not be trusted to conduct an independent and transparent inquiry.
In the letter, he mentions that it has been suggested that the Kosovo Assembly is not entitled to inquire into how EULEX is administering justice in Kosovo.
“A failure by the Assembly to inquire into these matters, would serve to further undermine justice and rule of law in Kosovo. EULEX is a political mission masquerading as a rule of law mission,” Simmons specified in his letter, which Exit News has seen.
He explains that it is not his intention to disclose information relating to ongoing investigations, or to divulge the identity of protected witnesses, or release documents marked as “EU Restricted.”
“However, with the agreement of the European Union, I shall handover to the Assembly any such material that is relevant to your inquiry,” Simmons clarified.
While waiting for the Kosovo Parliament to schedule a hearing on his claims against EULEX, Simmons talked to Exit News in May, claiming that Charles Smith, former President of the Assembly of EULEX judges, based his decision-making on political considerations.
In an email that Exit News has seen, Smith asks Simmons that the case against former KLA commander turned politician, Fatmir Limaj – informally known as the “Kleçka” case – be scheduled for trial “asap.”
In his email sent in January 2013, Smith states that the request comes for a number of reasons, “mainly political.”
Currently, Charles Smith is one of the international judges appointed to serve at The Hague-based Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC).
The Specialist Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) and the KSC were established by the Kosovo parliament at the insistence of the international community in August 2015.
It followed a 2011 Council of Europe report in which Swiss Senator Dick Marty addresses the alleged crimes that “members of the Kosovo Liberation Army [had committed] against ethnic minorities and political rivals” from January 1998 until December 2000.
Several KLA senior officials have been indicted by the SPO and KSC so far. Among them, former President Hashim Thaci, former parliament speakers Jakup Krasniqi and Kadri Veseli and former Vetevendoje MP Rexhep Selimi are facing war crimes charges while being held in detention facilities in The Hague.