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News 04 Aug 16

EULEX Assessing Kosovo Wiretap Claims

As new leaks allegedly reveal fresh examples of politically influenced appointments to top jobs in Kosovo, EULEX prosecutors are starting to evaluate the content of the wiretaps.

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Pristina
Adem Grabovci, the chief of the PDK parliamentary group. | Photo y Kallxo

After a meeting with EULEX's chief prosecutor, Claudio Pala, the office of Aleksander Lumezi, the Kosovo State Prosecutor, said prosecutors from the EU rule-of-law mission had started evaluating the recently released wiretaps.

The leaked telephone conversations allegedly show how top officials of the ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, influenced appointments to top jobs in the public sector.

Depending on the information obtained by the EULEX prosecutor, according to a statement, Lumezi might form a team of prosecutors from the Office of the State Prosecutor to launch an official investigation into the claims.

The meeting with EULEX's Chief Prosecutor came a day after Lumezi said in Pristina that charges would not be raised over leaked telephone conversations.

He then explained that the tapes resulted from a 2011 EULEX investigation into the chief of the PDK parliamentary group, Adem Grabovci.

According to Lumezi, EULEX had concluded that there were no well-founded suspicions to launch charges against Grabovci.

Brief extracts of Grabovic’s tapped phone conversations were published on Monday by the Pristina-based media website Insajderi.com.

They allegedly reveal how Grabovci influenced appointments to top posts in the public sector.

They also reveal parts of conversations between Grabovci and Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, and others.

Insajderi.com claims the recordings show he influenced the appointment of several senior people in the prosecutorial and court system, and in the police.

On Thursday, the website published a brief wiretap that allegedly revealed how Grabovci and other PDK officials influenced the election of board members of the public water company in Prizren, selecting only candidates from the PDK.

Grabovci has denied wrongdoing. "If employing people is a crime, I will be ready to answer the prosecution," he told parliament on Thursday.

Insajderi.com says it possesses thousands of wiretapped phone conversations between Grabovci, Thaci and Veseli, as well as with other PDK and government officials. It has announced that it will publish them in their entirety.

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