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A EULEX judge has placed the head of Pristina's City Assembly, Sami Hamiti, and two other businessmen suspected of extortion and corruption, in detention for 30 days.
A senior official in Pristina’s city assembly and two other businessmen, arrested in a corruption and extortion probe, will spend 30 days in detention a court in Kosovo ruled on Thursday.
The EULEX judge ordered a month of detention for Sami Hamiti, Agim Ademi and Muharrem Rama, saying the trio “posed a threat to the witness” in the case.
The EU rule of law mission detained Hamiti and the two others on Wednesday in a case about changes to urban planning, and allowing a construction company to build in a protected zone.
EULEX did not release any details, saying it might harm the investigation, besides saying that the trio was suspected of extortion and “other acts linked with corruption.”
The judge decided in favour of the EULEX prosecutor who had requested detention of the suspects, arguing that “if they were freed, they could leave Kosovo, endanger the life of the accuser or have an impact on the case”.
Hamiti’s defence attorney said the entire process was politically motivated, noting his client's high profile within the opposition Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK.
"The fact that Hamiti has been involved in this process, without any evidence that he has committed a criminal act, shows that politics is involved,” Hamiti’s lawyer, Tome Gashi, said.
He said he would object to the decision on 30 days of detention for his client, and would lodge an appeal within the day.
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