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news 03 Apr 12

Kosovo Anti-Corruption Chief Held For Corruption

Nazmi Mustafi, head of the Anti-Corruption Taskforce set up by Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, has himself been arrested for corruption.

Fatmir Aliu
Pristina

 Mustafi was arrested on Monday on charges of corruption and abuse of his official position in a case being investigated by the EU rule of law, EULEX, prosecutors.

According to sources within EULEX, Mustafi was detained in connection to alleged extortion of money from at least one suspect whom he was investigating.

In a press release, EULEX wrote that the offences being investigated were “abuse of official position or authority and trading in influence.

“These charges are in connection with the alleged misconduct of a local Kosovo Special Prosecutors Office (SPRK) prosecutor and two others who, allegedly, extorted sums of money from a suspect in a case,” the press release added.

Kosovo police in a joint operation with EULEX have also arrested Reshat Zherka and are looking for another suspect.

The two men are suspected of having acted as agents on behalf of Mustafi, extorting money from people who were under investigation for corruption in cases that he handled.

Mustafi has headed the Anti-Corruption Task-Force since its foundation in 2010, handling the most sensitive cases, including one against the director of the Central Bank of Kosovo, Hashim Rexhepi who was acquitted of all charges.

Mustafi has been working as a prosecutor for nine years in the judiciary in Kosovo.

EULEX has been apparently investigating the chief of the Anti-Corruption Task-Force for almost a year, especially the cases that Mustafi handled, as it appears that most of them were dropped for lack of evidence, or the suspects were freed on parole.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. The country has demonstrated limited progress in tackling the rule-of-law, and organized crime, corruption, drug trafficking and money laundering still plague the country.

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