The former head judge of the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX), Malcolm Simmons will report at the Kosovo parliamentary committee on Legislation, Mandates, Immunities about his statements that there were “violations” within the Mission when dealing with high profile issues.
The committee decided that Simmons would report on January 18, 2021.
This was approved during the meeting of the committee on Friday, while the ruling Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) was against it.
The head of the committee, Shkemb Manaj from Democratic League of Kosovo said that it remains to be decided whether Simmons will report online or in a plenary session.
“The administration should take care in advance and look at the interests of the MPs and depending on it to determine the place […] due to the pandemic conditions. The agreement is for this hearing to start on January 18,” he said.
Last week Manaj said that LDK opposes the reporting of EULEX’ former judge because the mission was established by the European Union and not from local institutions.
Abelard Tahiri from the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) and former Minister of Justice said that the issue with Simmons is not just a meeting issue, but the beginning of a long process, therefore he said would be better for him to be present in the parliamentary hall.
“[…] it will be the beginning of a long process and our agreement, our consensus I think is very necessary. We all have the same goal: to find out the possible truth from the person in question. I think that if the hearing was held in the hall, it would be better,” Tahiri said.
Alban Hyseni from Vetevendosje also said that the importance of the case requires that Simmons’s reporting be done physically in the Assembly hall.
“I believe that as a political entity and as MPs of the [Vetevendosje] movement, we have raised and addressed the issue of EULEX more than anyone else. And because of the importance of the issue, I think we need to prepare in order to come up with more arguments and facts. Regarding the form of holding the meeting, I think it is better to be held in the Assembly,” Hyseni said.
Simmons says he would give evidence on “interference in criminal investigations, threats made to protective witnesses, inducements given to protected witnesses, manipulation of trial panels, attempts to interfere in criminal trials, concealment of evidence, manipulation of evidence, concealing evidence of the commission of criminal offences, attempts to obstruct criminal investigations, unlawful accessing of private emails, obstructing investigations, obstructing justice and interference in criminal cases to further political objectives.
Malcolm Simmons resigned as a judge in 2017 after serving from 2014. This is not the first time that Simmons claims there were violations within the EULEX.
When he resigned, he accused the mission of violations but later was revealed that he also was the subject of several investigations into alleged wrongdoing.