The Assembly approves the draft code of criminal procedure

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The Assembly of Kosovo, with 66 votes in favor, has approved in the first reading the Draft Code of Criminal Procedure, which provides for trial in absentia for all criminal offenses and not only for war crimes cases, while addressing the suspension of public officials in the case of indictment for acts of corruption and organized crime.

The Minister of Justice, Albulena Haxhiu said that the purpose of this draft code is to advance criminal justice to establish the rule of law in our country.

"Some of the changes that are more important, more substantial are the trial in absentia, a new article has been added with the trial in absentia which determines that if the defendant who voluntarily fails to appear in court after being informed of the date should not be allowed to delay the procedure. In those cases where the prosecutor cannot find a defendant after reasonable efforts the trial should be able to be held according to the circumstances set out in the proposed article. "Here a distinction is made between the trial in absentia for other offenses, except those of war crimes, for the fact that for war crimes cases it is not necessarily required that the defendant be in the first hearing or in the initial hearing," she said.

With 80 votes, the deputies approved in the first reading the draft law on international legal cooperation in civil matters.

The Minister of Justice, Albulena Haxhiu said that this draft law will regulate this field in a proper way and with high efficiency.

“It is considered that it will regulate this field in a proper way and with high efficiency, as well as in order to facilitate the execution of requests submitted by foreign judicial bodies to judicial bodies in the Republic of Kosovo, but also vice versa. In addition to filling the gaps in the existing legal framework for international legal assistance in civil matters, the draft law on international legal cooperation in civil matters will largely fill the lack of membership of the Republic of Kosovo in the Hague Conference and its conventions. It also accurately reflects the practice of international legal cooperation in civil matters and unifies procedures with the EU ", she said.

The Minister of Justice said that together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs they are working to take the necessary actions for Kosovo's membership in the Hague conference.

The draft law on amending and supplementing the law on international legal cooperation in criminal matters was also approved by the Assembly of Kosovo, with 66 deputies voting in favor.

The Minister of Justice, Albulena Haxhiu said that his goal is to achieve the objectives to improve access to justice, strengthen the rule of law, easier and more efficient implementation of international and domestic law in the criminal field, facilitate extradition procedures to have faster extraditions in line with international human rights standards, as well as advancing legislation in the field of international legal cooperation in criminal matters.