In Prizren, the family house of brothers was usurped and they, during the previous project (2014), initiated the property restitution procedure before the Prizren Basic Court. In April 2017, the project legal team achieved a court settlement before the Prizren Basic Court by which the usurpers were obliged to leave the house and return the keys to the owners. The settlement in question was realised regarding one floor of the house and the keys of that floor were returned to the parties, while the keys of the second floor should be handed over to the owners by the end of June 2017, when the settlement between the parties to the dispute before the Basic Court in Prizren shall be concluded.
Internally Displaced Person contacted the project because during the 1999 NATO aggression she was forced to leave her 40 m2 – apartment in Đakovica. After she had left the apartment, the apartment in question was unscrupulously usurped by the neighbour she knows. The party, with the help and representation of the project experts, filed a complaint against the usurper. Although initially initiated during the previous project, the criminal proceedings are still pending and the parties are represented by the current project. During the proceedings, the defendant defended himself saying that he received an oral consent from the injured party when she left Đakovica to use the apartment, and that he would leave it in case of sale. Due to the severely poor health, the injured party was not able to come to the court and testify against the defendant. The termination of the proceedings was prolonged until January 2017, when the injured party, with the support of the project’s legal team, managed to testify, and this was the evidence on the basis of which the court found the usurper guilty and suspended him to sentences by 6 months in prison. Regarding the property and legal claim in this criminal proceedings, the Court sent the injured party to its realization in the civil procedure.
After unlawful alienation of immovable property by falsification of documents, the usurper built three houses on the property of IDPs in Prizren. After the litigation procedure against the usurper was initiated in order to determine the absolute nullity of the purchase contract conducted by the previous project, which lasted almost 10 years, the current project managed to return the ownership to the plaintiff and re-register the ownership right of the real estate in question in the Cadastre register. However, since the usurper, even after the final verdict, did not follow the orders of the court, the project’s clients shall be forced to initiate an enforcement proceedings in which they will demand the liberation of immovable property from the person and transfer of the real estate in question to the injured parties. Bearing in mind that in the meantime that the usurper erected three buildings on the property of the parties, the parties, shall face additional problem in addition to almost 10 years invested in proceedings with a view to returning illegally alienated property, and this shall include the costs of enforcement proceedings and other forms of possible obstruction in the execution.
The client is an internally displaced person residing in Kraljevo who asked for aid from to the project experts regarding the immovable property that was the subject of a fraudulent transaction carried out by falsifying the owner’s signature on the power of attorney used for the transfer of immovable property. Based on such power of attorney, a purchase contract was first concluded, and then a transfer of ownership rights in the Cadastre office in Prizren was carried out. The buyer involved in this purchase contract, having illegally acquired the ownership of the property in question, concluded a loan agreement with a bank. Furthermore, as the new “owner” did not settle liabilities towards the bank, which in meantime announced the sale of the property of the client, the project initiated a litigation procedure to determine the nullity of the purchase contract before the Prizren Basic Court. The aforementioned procedure was finally terminated in favor of the client of the project by adopting the claim and by establishing the absolute nullity of the purchase contract concluded on the basis of the forged power of attorney.
On the basis of the final judgment, the property in question was registered in Cadastre register in the name of the client, and thus the bank was prevented from settling its claims by selling illegally acquired real estate.
An IDP from the village Srpski Babus, Municipality of Urosevac, who has been residing in Nis since 1999, found out his land in Srpski Babus was registered under the name of ZS. By then already infamous Nazim Bllaca, convicted of murder in 2013, forged a Power of Attorney of the IDP’s father who died in 1994. The Power of Attorney was verified by the Court in Lipljan in 2007. A few Serbian families were affected this way and 25 hectares was transferred to third persons. The IDP, together with other affected people reported the fraud to the Kosovo police (KPS), but they did not receive any feedback for over a year. In 2013 the IDP found out about the Legal Aid Office, and he contacted it right away. Legal officer from the Legal Aid then filed a substantial claim against Nazim Bllaca, first accused and ZS, second accused, with the legal request to void the Power of Attorney and the Purchase Agreement. The claim also included the Proposal for Interim Measure, which put the case as a priority and the Interim Measure was granted on May 30, 2014 without hearing, protecting the land from further fraudulent transactions.
Nazim Bllaca, who was serving the sentence in prison in Dubrava at the time, was escorted under special security measures only to the first hearing, in 2016 was released from prison under undetermined circumstances and disappeared. All the judges in Urosevac issued an order to search, investigate and bring Nazim Bllaca before court, but all efforts were useless. Per request of the Legal Offices, the defendant was summoned by the Official Court Board, which finally gave results and on June 29, 2016 the Power of Attorney and Purchase Agreement were voided.
Unfortunately, The Basic Court in Urosevac sent an appeal of ZS, the second responding party to the Legal Aid. The case will be transferred to The Court of Appeal in Pristina.
The complainant is an IDP who lived and worked in school in Prizren until 1999. Upon him leaving Prizer for safety reasons 1999, his Albanian colleague illegally occupied the apartment given to the IDP by the school. The IDP filed a claim for property restitution to the Directorate for Housing and Property Rights (HDP). The HDP Commettee issued a decision in 2006 for the apartment to be given back to the IDP and referred the case to the competent court. However, the HDP refused to execute the decision, so the IDP filed a law suit to the Municipal Court in Prizren in 2008.
In 2009 the Municipal Court issued a decision to re-institute the IDP as the owner and remove the usurper from the apartment, but the usurper filed a complaint against this decision. The Court of Appeal confirmed the decision of the Municipal Court in 2011, but the usurper refused to act upon it and move out until 2012, when the IDP started a process for execution before the Municipal Court in Prizren. At that time, the IDP’s lawyer informed him he could not represent him any more. The IDP could not find a legal representation up until he learned about the Legal Aid Project and contacted it immediately. From the moment the Legal Aid took his case, multiple hearings were held after which the Court went to the field in order to execute the eviction of the usurper and to let the IDP in the apartment.
The school he worked and usurper is still working in filed a law suit to the Court in Prizren for the annulment of the Purchase Agreement by which the IDP bought the apartment from the school.
NN is a Director of a real estate agency in Kosovo and Metohija, Albanian nationality, against whom numerous proceedings have been opened since 1999, not only for illegal property usurpation but a lot of other criminal activities such as forging documents, fraud, etc. It is being speculated that EULEX opened an investigation against him for possible connections with the criminal groups in the region. Amongst many victims are three project’s clients, people displaced from Kosovo and Metohija in 1999 and lawful owners of the land near to regional road connecting this town to Pec.
NN, taking advantage of the victim’s displacement due to safety reason, occupied their property near the main road to Pec. NN demolished the house and other objects on the parcel and then built the road. The affected filed a lawsuit to EULEX against NN and then the case was referred to the prosecutor’s office for further processing. Upon filing the lawsuit, the complainants contacted Legal Aid Office, which took the case. During the proceedings, the defendant denied the guilt claiming he had not occupied the property illegally but with the consent of the complainants, that he they had had an oral agreement on investing in their property and a written Purchase Agreement should have been signed later on. The defendant even went that far to ask for the compensation for the damages he supposedly had investing in the property. During the proceedings, among other evidence, the complainants testified, as well as the witness, one of the NN’s closest accomplices. The defendant would show up for hearings accompanied with his armed security and co-workers, and he threatened with even death to complainants through his co-workers. Afraid, the complainants and their representative requested the police security when coming and leaving the Court. The granted security measure was for the complainants to come to the police station, building near the Court, before hearings and then, accompanied with two police officer to walk to the Court building.
The Court found the defendant guilty of the illegal property occupation, with a conditional sentence. Furthermore, the Court obliged the defendant to return the property to the lawful owners within 15 days, otherwise the conditional sentence will be replaced for the prison sentence.