Home Page
 
07 May 10

EULEX: Limaj Could Face a Long Jail Term

Kosovo Minister of Transport Fatmir Limaj and the ministry’s head of procurement, Nexhat Krasniqi, could face up to 55 years in jail, if found guilty on corruption charges, according to EULEX’s acting chief prosecutor Johan van Vreeswijk.
Lawrence Marzouk

In a frank interview with Pristina daily Koha Ditore, Mr van Vreeswijk revealed that the officials face charges of money laundering, organised crime, fraud in office and soliciting bribes.

He also revealed that 6 other government ministers are also under investigation for corruption.

The comments follow a series of EULEX raids last Wednesday, April 28, on the Ministry of Transport and properties connected to Limaj. The action is in connection with a corruption probe linked to road tenders issued between 2007 and 2009.

A recent Balkan Insight investigation revealed that  a number of lucrative building contracts appear to have gone to friends and relatives of Fatmir Limaj. See Kosovo Minister’s Friends Flourish from Road Bonanza

Fatmir Limaj has refused to comment on the allegations against him. He had a short press statement on the night of the raids in which he denied all wrong-doing and said he would continue to concentrate on his work.

The raids have drawn criticism from members of Limaj’s governing party, the Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, and its supporters in the media.

In an interview with the public broadcaster RTK, Prime Minister Hashim Thaci said that the raids sent out a message that ‘Kosovo’s institutions were at war with the international institutions’ and questioned whether the International Civilian Representative Pieter Feith had interfered in the judicial system.

Speaker of the parliament Jakup Krasniqi called the raids a ‘spectacle’ and questioned why EULEX had not simply asked for the necessary documents.

Mr van Vreeswijk rejected the claims, saying that the action was proportionate to seriousness of the crimes.

He said: “Before allowing such a thing, such a raid, you should have a strong case. This is decided by a judge.

“What is the Prime Minister trying to say? That he knows better than the judge how to apply the law? This is a dangerous remark from the prime minister.

“We are not pleased with his remarks, because he forgets one thing: that he is member of the executive branch. The parliament is the legislative. We are here for the judiciary.”

It also emerged during the interview that EULEX suspects that around two million euro has been misused in this specific case, adding ‘there are also other charges’.
 
He added that he was angry at suggestions by the prime minister that EULEX was conducting a ‘political war’.

Mr van Vreeswijk added: “Everybody who is involved in organised crime and corruption should start sweating. And if they are doing such a thing, let they stop from today.”

 

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Headlines:

montenegrin-court-seized-marovic-s-property-08-18-2017
18 Aug 17

Montenegrin Court Seizes Marovic’s Properties

The high court in Podgorica has seized the assets of the former president of Serbia and Montenegro, and those of his family, until an investigation into how he obtained them has ended.

18 Aug 17

UN Court Ends Case Against Serbian Radical

Premium Selection

video-albanian-thailand-attracts-hundreds-of-tourists-08-17-2017
17 Aug 17

VIDEO: Albanian "Thailand" Attracts Hundreds of Tourists

Unexplored nature, azure waterways and the many opportunities for adventure have recently turned the Shala river valley into one of the tourist hotspots in the Albanian Alps.

turkish-purges-leave-one-mighty-army-weakened-08-16-2017
17 Aug 17

Turkish Purges Leave Once Mighty Army Weakened

Once one of the world's strongest armed forces, the Turkish military has been seriously undermined by waves of arrests and dismissals, experts warn.

15 Aug 17

Bosnia-Born American Sues US over Travel Ban

10 Aug 17

Balkan Parents Dream of Finnish Baby Boxes