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.
 

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.

BIRN

23 July 2015