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Annan: Kosovo progress slowed by intimidation of judges, corruption

[JURIST] In a report [PDF text] to the UN Security Council [official website] Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed "serious concern" [UN News report] with the slow progress in implementing eight benchmarks set by the UN for Kosovo [UN Interim Administration website], which Annan attributed to the intimidation of judges, corruption and security issues. Annan wrote:

Intimidation threatens the rule of law and the justice institutions across Kosovo and deters foreign investment. Political leaders of all parties need to lead a campaign against intimidation of, and assaults against, witnesses, police, judges, prosecutors and corrections service staff. Policies of zero tolerance and tough sentencing are needed.
The benchmarks set for Kosovo include promoting the rule of law, establishing democratic institutions, ensuring protection for ethnic minorities, and securing property rights. Annan urged Kosovo's leaders to "renew their efforts to ensure substantive, accelerated and sustainable progress." The recent death [BBC report] of Kosovo's President Ibrahim Rugova on January 21 has further hindered discussions. Annan's report to the Security Council follows a warning last week that Kosovo has not moved quickly enough to implement international standards [JURIST report] on human rights, democraticization, ethnic tolerance and law enforcement. AP has more.

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