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news 30 Nov 12

EULEX Tapes of Thaci Cause Furore in Kosovo

Leak to media of taped phone conversations, some allegedly featuring Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, has angered the government, which insists they are fakes.

Fatmir Aliu
BIRN
Pristina

The EU's rule of law mission to Kosovo, EULEX, has intercepted the phone of Prime Minister Hashim Thaci and other senior figures several times in the course of an inquiry, it has emerged.

The government has dismissed the leaked recordings as fakes, calling them a “scandalous” fabrication. It urged the authorities to resolve the issue urgently.

“The creation of such fabricated interceptions aimed at blackmailing officials and their private lives is a punishable act,” the government said in a press release.

Five alleged telephone conversation recordings between Thaci and his party officials were leaked to on Thursday, prompting EULEX to confirm that the material formed part of an ongoing investigation.

“The leaking of confidential material is a serious issue and a serious violation of trust linked to procedures of an ongoing judicial process,” EULEX said in a statement to BIRN.

The recordings, since posted on Youtube, supposedly reveal conversations between senior officials, including the Europe Minister Vlora Citaku, the mayor of Skenderaj, Sami Lushtaku, their PDK parliamentary group chief, Adem Grabovci, and the former SHIK Director, Kadri Veseli.

Prime Minister Thaci’s voice appears in two of the five recordings, all of which appear to feature Grabovci.

EULEX has not divulged the identity of the person he prosecutors were after, or which case it is all about.

The conversations reveal what senior PDK officials think of their party Secretary General, Jakup Krasniqi, who at the same time is the speaker of parliament.

While the government has called the tapes fake, EULEX told BIRN that the tapes were “authentic” and formed part of a court proceeding.

“EULEX prosecutors have acted legally and correctly, according to the law,” EULEX said, replying to the government’s allegations.

EULEX has a set of executive powers in Kosovo’s justice system, limited to special fields, notably war crimes, organized crime and corruption cases.

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