Startseite > Europa > EULEX scandal: EU Kosovo Mission Ex-Prosecutor Alleges ‘Intimidation’

EULEX scandal: EU Kosovo Mission Ex-Prosecutor Alleges ‘Intimidation’

24 Jul 15

EU Kosovo Mission Ex-Prosecutor Alleges ‘Intimidation’

A former EU rule-of-law mission in Kosovo prosecutor who made claims of corruption said she has been threatened with criminal prosecution if she speaks publicly about her case against her ex-employers.

Petrit Collaku
BIRN

Pristina

Maria Bamieh. Photo: Majlinda Hoxha.

Former prosecutor Maria Bamieh, who has taken the EULEX rule-of-law mission to a British employment tribunal for alleged unfair dismissal, said on Thursday that her former employers were trying to intimidate her into silence over the allegations of corruption within the organisation which led to her losing her job.

The legal firm Bindmans, which is representing Bamieh at the London Employment Tribunal, said that EULEX had threatened her with prosecution if she discloses any details of her claim to outsiders.

Bamieh said this meant that EULEX was trying to ensure that her allegations would go unheard.

“These latest developments only serve to demonstrate the lengths to which the relevant powers will go to prevent my concerns from being openly discussed,” she was quoted as saying on Bindmans’ website.

Bindmans also alleged that EULEX asked the London Employment Tribunal for “privacy and anonymity orders over all remaining stages of the proceedings”, which the law firm said would make it impossible for media to report on the details of the case.

But EULEX rejected the allegations and said that according to British justice ministry guidelines on employment tribunals, “documents and statements must not be used for any purpose other than the conduct of the case” and should not be shown to people involved in the case, their lawyers or witnesses if relevant.

“There is a difference between the use of information in legal proceedings, which EULEX does not oppose, and a blanket release to the media, which is what EULEX opposes,” the mission’s spokesperson Besa Domi told BIRN on Friday.

“The mission feels that it is not appropriate or reasonable to release details of a claim which appears to quote confidential information about ongoing legal proceedings in Kosovo,” Domi added.

In October 2014, Bamieh, a British lawyer, accused her former EULEX colleague, Italian judge Francesco Florit, of taking a 300,000 euro bribe to clear a man accused of murder, as well as seeking another bribe in a corruption case against a Kosovo transport ministry official. Florit strongly denied the allegations.

The EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini commissioned a report after Bamieh’s allegations were made public, to find out if there had been an attempted cover-up.

The report published in April concluded that the mission delayed dealing with the allegations because of what appeared to be administrative errors, but did not try to cover them up.

In a separate development on Thursday, Kosovo MPs voted for a resolution calling for EULEX’s work to be reviewed and alleged abuses within the mission investigated.

23 Jul 15

Kosovo Parliament Demands Probe of EU Law Mission

The Kosovo parliament passed a resolution asking for an investigation into alleged corruption inside the EU’s rule-of-law mission in Kosovo, EULEX.

Una Hajdari
BIRN

Pristina

The Kosovo parliament. Photo: Una Hajdari.

MPs voted for the resolution on Thursday calling for EULEX’s work to be reviewed and alleged abuses within the mission investigated.

“The Kosovo parliament invites the president of the republic, Mrs. Atifete Jahjaga, to ask the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs to initiate an institutional investigation for every case mentioning EULEX staff in the official EU report,” said the resolution.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini commissioned a report last year after the allegations of bribery involving EULEX judicial staff were made public, to find out if they had been covered up.

The report published in April concluded that the mission delayed dealing with the allegations for what appeared to be “administrative errors” but did not try to cover them up.

The bribery allegations were initially made by a EULEX prosecutor, Maria Bamieh. Bamieh also alleged that EULEX tried to stifle her complaints.

A team of local and international investigators is still probing her allegations.

The resolution passed on Thursday also accused the EU mission of “arbitrarily taking on cases from local prosecutors” even though EULEX was supposed to have downsized last year and only to be working on ongoing cases.

“We request that the Head of the Judicial Council of Kosovo and the Head of the Prosecutorial Council of Kosovo report on… the arbitrary takeover of compentences from the justice organs [of Kosovo] by EULEX,” the resolution said, accusing the EU mission of taken over new cases without the right to do so.

EULEX argued in a statement before the vote however that it was legally allowed to take on new cases in “extraordinary circumstances” decided by Kosovo’s chief prosecutor and the chief EULEX prosecutor.

Thursday’s resolution comes into power immediately after its ratification but according to Kosovo law, the government is not obliged to follow its instructions.

http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/kosovo-requests-probe-into-eu-mission

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EU Kosovo Mission Ex-Prosecutor Alleges ‘Intimidation’

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