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Six Kosovo Albanians and two Kosovo Serbs, all former judges, have been charged with corruption by the EU rule of law mission to Kosovo, EULEX.
EULEX prosecutors have charged the former President of Pristina’s Municipal Court, Nuhi Uka and seven other local judges with embezzlement. The former judges are suspected of having gained millions of euros by expropriating publicly owned property.
A total of ten defendants have been charged by the Special Prosecution Office of Kosovo, including five judges of the Municipal Court of Pristina, Nuhi Uka, Jehomir Milalic, Olga Janicijevic, Sanije Mucolli and Shemsije Sheholli; three former District Court judges Ferid Bislimi, Rrahman Ratkoceri and Ekrem Agushi.
“The prosecutor indicted the former President of the Municipal Court for the criminal offences of abusing official position and authority and assistance in issuing unlawful judicial decision. The seven former judges were charged with the criminal offences of abusing official position and authority and issuing unlawful judicial decision,” says EULEX.
Other two suspects are lawyer Gazmend Gashi, who is Nuhi Uka’s son in law, and Hasnije Balidemaj, a representative of the socially owned enterprise “KBI Kosova Export”, where allegedly tens of hectares of land was expropriated through court rulings in which the defendants were sitting judges.
The eight former judges ruled in at least 15 civil cases concerning “KBI Kosova Export” related to ownership claims over the land that the company used to own at the outskirts of Pristina, Fushe-Kosova and Cagllavica.
“The representative of the Socially Owned Enterprise and the lawyer are charged with the criminal offences of assistance in abusing official position and authority and assistance in issuing unlawful judicial decision,” EULEX said in its indictment.
In another case, in Peja, EULEX has filed an indictment against the former Special Prosecutor who was also the head of the Anti-Corruption Task Force, Nazmi Mustafi, and three other persons for corruption-related offences.
Mustafi is charged for the criminal offences of abusing of official position or authority and illegal possession of weapons.
The three other defendants were charged with assistance to the offence of abusing official position or authority, trading in influence, taking official documents and defrauding buyers.
In two high-profile war crimes trials currently ongoing in Pristina, a series of witnesses have retracted previous statements alleging abuse at Kosovo Liberation Army detention centres.