Total INL Kosovo Program Funding FY07-FY10
The goal of Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) programs in Kosovo is to strengthen the Rule of Law and support Kosovo’s integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions. Assistance focuses on developing the capacity of judicial, prosecutorial and law enforcement institutions to effectively combat organized crime, human trafficking, and other criminal activities in Kosovo. INL also supports a new effort to increase the demand for justice through the provision of legal service and engagement of civil society in policy development and implementation of legislative reform in the criminal justice sector.
Through Assistance for Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia (AEECA) funds, INL facilitates the US contribution to the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX). EULEX is the largest civilian mission ever launched under the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP). The central aim is to assist and support the Kosovo authorities in the rule of law area, specifically in the police, judiciary and customs areas. The mission is not in Kosovo to govern or rule. It is a technical mission which monitors, mentors and advises, and retains limited executive powers, namely the investigation and prosecution of war crimes, high level corruption, and organized crime. EULEX works under the general framework of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and has a unified chain of command to Brussels.
INL also supports bilateral assistance through US implementers who provide specialized training, equipment and technical assistance to the Kosovo Police, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry to Justice, and other justice sector institutions. INL works in partnership with the US Department of Justice’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training (DOJ/OPDAT), and the US Department of Justice’s International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (DOJ/ICITAP). Areas of focus include: police prosecutor cooperation, investigation of complex and financial crimes, including organized crime and trafficking in persons, information management, border management, immigration and asylum controls, community policing, legal reform, training of prosecutors, and improvement of services to victims of crime.
INL also supports a program, implemented by the Public International Law and Policy Group (PILPG), intended to increase the Kosovo citizens’ demand for justice by promoting the rule of law through citizen engagement. The program focuses specifically on criminal procedure, grievance processes, and oversight mechanisms relating to the justice system in Kosovo.
Program Components and Accomplishments:
Criminal Justice Sector Development
DOJ/OPDAT programs in Kosovo work to strengthen the capacity of the Justice Sector to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate complex crimes, and increase the professionalism and legal abilities of judges and prosecutors. OPDAT also works with the Kosovo Judicial Institute to develop and introduce curriculum and international best practices in legal education. OPDAT provides training to improve the skills of prosecutors in trial advocacy, plea bargaining, courtroom testimony, witness protection, investigations, and police prosecutor cooperation – including task force development. There are currently two full-time Resident Legal Advisors (RLA) in Kosovo. RLAs have assisted the Ministry of Justice in revising the Criminal Code and will provide assistance in revising the Criminal Procedure Code. OPDAT was instrumental in passing legislation that created the architecture for Kosovo’s legal and court system.
The Eastern District of North Carolina (EDNC) of the US Attorney’s Office, through a special initiative developed by a former OPDAT RLA with her home office, provides ongoing training and consultations on investigation and prosecuting cases which involve drug trafficking, trafficking in human beings, and public corruption. EDNC and OPDAT also provides advice and assistance to Kosovo in developing a Victim Advocate’s program, similar to the model used in the US, which embeds a Victim’s Advocate in the prosecutor’s office to assist victims of crime in accessing services, protecting their rights, and facilitating their participation as witnesses in investigations and court proceedings.
DOJ/ICITAP programs provide training and technical assistance to the Kosovo Police (KP), the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and other government agencies involved in law enforcement. ICITAP works in the areas of: Trafficking in Persons, Integrated Border Management/Immigration and Asylum, Police Prosecutor Cooperation, Investigation of Serious Crimes, Financial Crimes, Police Training, Law Enforcement Information Management, and Police Development, Accountability and Human Resource Management. ICITAP also runs the Community Safety Action Teams (CSAT) program, a community-oriented policing program that establishes teams of community volunteers (business leaders, educators, students, religious leaders, etc.), local government officials, and local police officials to work together to identify and address issues of community safety and livability.
ICITAP advisors assist the Ministry of Internal Affairs, focusing on the management and leadership of the organization and on the administration of the MOIA through its six departments: the Kosovo Police; Police Inspectorate; Emergency Planning and Management; Citizenship, Asylum, & Migration; the Center for Public Safety Education and Development; and Public Safety. ICITAP has a full time advisor in the General Director’s office of the Kosovo Police to provide capacity building in leadership and management within the KP. ICITAP is in the process of creating an information management system to address the IT needs of the Kosovo Police. This involves upgrading and building out the KP’s existing microwave canopy so it will network the entire KP, including all border crossing points (BCPs), regional directorates, municipal stations, and the KP Central Command. ICITAP will also provide equipment donations to the KP data center and train KP officers and other GOK to build and maintain the network, and to develop and launch software applications that will assist in data management and improve information sharing and investigative capacities.
The U.S. provides significant expertise to the EULEX mission through the secondment of law enforcement generalists (civilian police), judges, prosecutors and customs officers. The US also seconds two political liaison officers to the mission. Currently, the U.S. Contingent to EULEX is composed of 51 police, 2 judges, 2 prosecutors, 3 customs officers and 2 political advisors, although these numbers will decline to 33 police, 3 judges or prosecutors, 3 customs officers and 2 political advisors by early 2012. The US holds the position of Head of the Police Executive Component, Vice President of EULEX Judges and member of three judge panel at the Kosovo Supreme Court, Prosecutor in the Special Prosecutor’s Office, Station Commanders in northern Kosovo, and Customs Officers assigned to Gates 1 and 31. Civilian Police International, under contract with INL, provides the recruitment, selection, training, deployment and in-country support of the U.S. Contingent.
US team members have made valuable contributions to the EULEX mission, including investigations of war crimes and public corruption, development of a tracking system for progress on Action Fiches, enhancing Kosovo’s forensic capacity, and improving border and customs capabilities. US officers have also been active in the Executive Department, which has investigated, arrested, and achieved convictions in several high profile cases. Most recently, EULEX arrested Fatmir Limaj, deputy head of Kosovo’s ruling Democratic Party on charges of murder and torture of Kosovo Albanian and Serb civilians and prisoners of war at a KLA detention camp during the war.
Justice and the People
PILPG and its local partners work with Kosovar citizens, civil society, grassroots leaders, advocates, and others to meet the following two main objectives: (1) enable citizens to understand and use justice mechanisms and processes; and (2) facilitate a national public policy education and advocacy campaign on justice sector reform and access to justice.
PILPG’s program is designed to accomplish these objectives by: (1) working with a local legal-aid NGO to operate up to seven legal clinics providing legal services to citizens of Kosovo at or below the poverty level; (2) conducting legal analyses of existing grievance and oversight mechanisms and issues of criminal procedure; (3) conducting national opinion polls to gauge issues of concern among the public; (4) convening roundtables to encourage discussions on key issues impacting citizens’ confidence in the justice system, and to develop creative solutions and approaches to furthering the public’s confidence in the justice system; (5) facilitating a public policy education and advocacy campaign based on public policy frameworks, led by a local NGO advocacy partner, and leveraged through social media to inform and mobilize the public; (6) promoting strategic litigation; and (7) engaging youth through internships with program partners, including the legal aid and advocacy partners.
 All funds from the SEED and AEECA accounts.