Kosovo Prosecutor Rules Out Indictment Over Wiretaps

The Chief Prosecutor of Kosovo said there was no legal basis for issuing indictments over leaked wiretapped phone conversations that allegedly show how the ruling party influenced top jobs in the public sector.

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Aleksander Lumezi, Chief Prosecuter of Kosovo

Kosovo’s Chief Prosecutor said charges will not be raised over leaked telephone conversations that suggest top officials of the ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, influenced who got top jobs in the public sector.

“There is no basis for any indictment because these wiretaps were previously used by a prosecutor of [the EU rule-of-law mission] EULEX, which points to a conclusion that there are no well-grounded suspicions to charges against the protagonist, the chief of PDK parliamentary group, Adem Grabovci,” Aleksander Lumezi said in Pristina on Wednesday.

Lumezi explained that in order for the prosecution to press charges, they would need more evidence, adding that a criminal investigation against Grabovci was conducted back in 2011.

He added that the recordings cannot form the basis for any claim against the people who communicated with Grabovci, including President Hashim Thaci, speaker of parliament Kadri Veseli and other officials involved in published wiretaps.

Brief extracts of wiretapped Grabovic’s phone conversations were published on Monday by the Pristina-based media website Insajderi.com, allegedly revealing how Grabovci influenced appointments to top posts in the public sector.

The excerpts also reveal parts of conversations between Grabovci and Thaci, as well as with Veseli and others.

Insajderi.com claims the recordings show he influenced the appointment of several senior people in the prosecutorial and court system, and in the police.

Lumezi stated that although there was not enough evidence to prosecute now, the case could be revived if new evidence is found.

“I guarantee that no one is untouchable and, if we find elements of any offence, we will act in accordance with the force of law and the responsible persons will be in court,” Lumezi said.

Lumezi met President Thaci right before the press conference in Pristina, but denied that wiretaps were a topic at the meeting.

The US ambassador to Kosovo, Greg Delawie, also commented on the wiretaps on Wednesday, writing on his Twitter account that he was following the issue.

“I encourage involved parties to proceed with a thorough and transparent review. No one should be above the law,” Delawie wrote.

Insajderi.com previously stated it was in possession of thousands of wiretapped phone conversations between Grabovci, Thaci and Veseli, as well as with other PDK and government officials. It has announced it will publish them in their entirety.

Balkan Insight

3 August, 2016