Statement from the U.S. Embassy Pristina

Statement from the U.S. Embassy Pristina, 17 March 2017

The United States supports the passage of the Law on Execution of Penal Sanctions, which would close loopholes that allow politically-connected criminals to leave prison for frivolous reasons.  We are, however, strongly opposed to a proposed amendment to that law that provides each detainee will receive 36 hours of time served credit for every 24 hours of incarceration.  The amendment, as it stands, would entitle EVERY convicted criminal currently serving time in prison to a reduction of their prison sentence by 1/3.  It also means that a political body — the Assembly — is declaring wrong every independent judicial decision resulting in a term of imprisonment, and that every sentence of imprisonment in the future will be less than what the judge decides.  With the passage of this amendment, for example,  the person sentenced to 23 years imprisonment for murder after stabbing his fiancée 76 times will serve only 15.  This amendment weakens the principle of legal certainty and judicial independence.  We urge the Assembly to reject that effort to weaken rule of law, and to move forward on legislation that would strengthen it.  The United States remains committed to strengthening the rule of law in Kosovo and to working together with Kosovo in that effort.