From: Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei
International Monitoring Operation Distances Itself from Theo Jacobs

After questions posed by Exit, the International Monitoring Operation (ONM) has distanced itself from recent controversial statements by international observer Theo Jacobs.

Earlier this month, during the vetting hearing of Shkodra Appeals Court judge Selim Kryeziu, Jacobs had criticized the SPAK prosecutors involved in the investigation of Special Appeals Chamber judge Luan Daci by calling them “incomplete and conducted by prosecutors that should not have been there.” Luan Daci has been officially charged for falsification of documents.

This week, the High Prosecutorial Council responded to Jacobs’s allegations, stressing the independence and professionalism of the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecution, whose members have all successfully passed the vetting procedure monitored by the ONM.

In its response to Exit, the ONM stated that the “mandate of the International Observers is defined by the Constitution, the vetting law and the terms of their deployment.”

It falls within the competence of the International Observers to ask case-related questions during public hearings, upon the consent of the assessee. The questions and opinions formulated by the International Observers during public hearings are limited to the case at hand and may not be attributed to the [ONM] or be regarded as stating an official position of the [ONM].

The ONM thus implies that Jacobs’s comments on the Daci investigation fell outside his mandate because they were not pertinent to the “case at hand” of Selim Kryeziu.

Furthermore, by stating that “questions and opinions formulated by the International Observers […] may not be attributed” to the ONM, the international mission led by Genoveva Ruiz Calavera openly distances itself from Jacobs’s comments.