news 30 Oct 14

BIRN Interviews Prosecutor and Judge in EULEX Scandal

EULEX prosecutor Maria Bamieh and judge Francesco Florit spoke in detail to BIRN's Jeta ne Kosove TV programme about corruption allegations which have rocked the EU rule-of law-mission in Kosovo.


Suspended prosecutor Maria Bamieh, who this week accused her former EULEX colleague, Italian judge Francesco Florit, of taking a 300,000 euro bribe to clear a man accused of murder and seeking another bribe in a corruption case against a Kosovo government official, spoke at length to the BIRN programme on Thursday evening about why she decided to go public.

She criticised EULEX, saying there was no accountability and everyone was shifting blame between Pristina and Brussels. "They believe they're gods."

Bamieh said that EULEX officials ignored her demands to open an investigation into the allegations and suspended her instead. She alleged that the judge's name frequently appeared in transcripts of intercepted calls during her investigations.

Judge Florit adamantly denies that he took a bribe.

Asked whether he is being investigated, Florit said: "Frankly speaking, what I know is from the newspapers in Kosovo."

He said he asked the prosecution whether there is an investigation was told that "it is only a preliminary investigation and that I am not formally registered in the books."

Earlier on Thursday, Gabriele Meucci, the head of EU rule-of-law mission in Kosovo, told a press conference in Pristina that EULEX was probing allegations by suspended prosecutor Bamieh.

Meucci rejected Bamieh’s claim that EULEX had not acted to probe her allegations.
“They were not ignored,” he said.

See the full interview below.

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