News 19 Nov 14

Ombudsman Checks EULEX's Corruption Probe

The European Ombudsman is investigating whether EULEX has taken all the measures it should to probe the corruption allegations made against mission.

Nektar Zogjani

The European Ombudsperson, Emily O’Reilly, has decided to check whether the European External Action Service, EEAS, is thoroughly investigating allegations of wrongdoing by EULEX.

The Kosovo-based Koha Ditore reported that it has seen a letter sent to the EEAS Chief of Operations Patrick Child, in which O’Reilly said she had decided to conduct her own investigations into the allegations made by a EULEX whistblower about corruption and bribery.

O'Reilly noted that her intention was not to investigate the allegations against EULEX but to verify whether EEAS/EULEX had taken all the necessary steps to probe the claims.

"Reports on such allegations have been published in the media. Those reports suggest that there are doubts whether the EEAS and/or EULEX have been investigating adequately this matter," O'Reilly wrote. "I believe you agree that the allegations made are of a serious nature."

The row started when a British EULEX prosecutor, Maria Bamieh, in October accused an Italian EULEX judge, Francesco Florit, of taking a bribe of 300,000 euro bribe to clear a man accused of murder, and seeking another bribe in a corruption case against a Kosovo government official.

Bamieh said EULEX officials ignored her calls for an investigation into the allegations and suspended her instead.

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