Thaci blames Serbia as Serb judges fail to take oath

Serb judges and prosecutors in Kosovo did not arrive to an oath-taking ceremony on Tuesday, Beta is reporting.

Source: Beta, Tanjug
(Thinkstock)
(Thinkstock)

The ceremony was to mark the beginning of the implementation of a judiciary agreement that Belgrade and Pristina have reached.

This February 2015 agreement means the integration of Serb judges into the Kosovo judicial system.

It was announced that 42 judges and 14 prosecutors from minority communities would be sworn in before Kosovo President Hashim Thaci today.

According to media reports, this could now happen "on Friday or on Monday."

Thaci said in a statement that Serbia has hindered the judges from taking their oath "in order not to allow their integration into the judicial system of Kosovo."

He also "urged Belgrade to do everything as agreed to make the agreement that is of great importance to citizens of Kosovo finally come to life."

"This is one of the many steps Serbia has taken against citizens of Kosovo, since the inclusion of judges and prosecutors from minority communities is of great importance for the realization of the rights of communities and ensuring equitable access to justice," the statement said.

Thaci added that the judges missing the ceremony today represented "yet another failure and expression of European Union's incompetence as a mediator in the process of realizing the judiciary agreement."

Director of the Serbian Government's Office for Kosovo and Metohija Marko Djuric said on Tuesday that he expects the work regarding the implementation of the agreement to be finished on Friday.

"It is an important event, because for the first time since 1999 we will have a court with a Serb majority, a Serb president of the court in Kosovska Mitrovica and the prosecution with a Serb majority," he said.

On Monday, Beta reported that "everything was in place" for the the new judiciary agreement to come into effect.

"As agreed by the Serbian and Kosovo presidents on Aug. 13, during the EU-mediated talks in Brussels, a new judiciary agreement should take place tomorrow," a spokesperson for the European External Action Service (EEAS), Maja Kocijancic, told the agency.

"All the steps have been completed to integrate Serbian judges into the Kosovo system, and both sides have fulfilled their obligations in line with the agreement," she said.

On Tuesday, Kocijancic said that the EU "regrets the delay in implementation of an agreement on the judiciary between Belgrade and Pristina" and added that the delay came at Belgrade's request.

She "pointed to a need for the Brussels agreement on the judiciary to be implemented as soon as possible due to the fact that implementation of the agreement on normalization of relations between the two sides is closely tied to European integration," Tanjug is reporting.

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