High-level corruption still a problem in Kosovo, some say

02/03/2013

Some analysts and NGOs say the government is not systematic in charging high-level officials with corruption.

By Linda Karadaku for Southeast European Times in Pristina -- 02/03/13

photo

Some high-level politicians in Kosovo have faced corruption charges. [AFP]

Recent charges against a former deputy minister show that the country's prosecutors are not afraid to prosecute high-ranking officials for corruption, Pristina officials said, but analysts still question the government's process.

Januz Kastrati, former Kosovo deputy minister of trade and industry, is accused of ordering subordinates to include some Kosovo citizens among the official state delegation travelling to the US in order to provide US visas for them.

Kastrati has been charged with abuse of office, and his trial is pending.

Liridona Kozmaqi, spokesperson for Kosovo state prosecution office, told SETimes that Kosovo prosecutors do not hesitate to deal with high-level corruption cases.

"State prosecutors raised charges against senior officials in all Kosovo institutions, regardless of their position or level," Kozmaqi told SETimes.

But not all agree.

"The main problem is that this fight [against corruption] has not started yet, especially on the highest levels," Merita Mustafa, an anti-corruption expert at the Kosovo Democratic Institute, told SETimes.

Mustafa said that based on the level of corruption in the country, the number of investigations and charges raised are minor and contrary to the official statements about the government's dedication to fight corruption.

"The problem is that the justice bodies in Kosovo have been dealing so far with the weakest [officials] and with those who have been the most discredited," Avni Zogiani, executive director of Cohu, a Kosovo NGO covering corruption issues, told SETimes.

Related Articles

Loading

Zogiani believes that Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci's Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) officials have impunity.

Petrit Zogaj, executive director of Kosovo FOL movement, told SETimes that several criminally charged officials, such as former Transportation Minister Fatmir Limaj and former Deputy Prime Minister Bujar Bukoshi, are either not close to Thaci, or are his critics.

"It is difficult to say that corruption is fought systematically in all cases," Zogaj said.

But, according to Kozmaqi, "The state prosecutors are dedicated to fight organised crime and corruption in all levels, without distinction."

This content was commissioned for SETimes.com.
Loading
Vote
 
 
  • Email to a friend
  • icon Print Version
  • Share/Save/Bookmark

We welcome your comments on SETimes's articles.

It is our hope that you will use this forum to interact with other readers across Southeast Europe. In order to keep this experience interesting, we ask you to follow the rules outlined in the comments policy. By submitting comments, you are consenting to these rules. While SETimes.com encourages discussion on all subjects, including sensitive ones, the comments posted are solely the views of those submitting them. SETimes.com does not necessarily endorse or agree with the ideas, views, or opinions voiced in these comments. SETimes.com welcomes constructive discussion but discourages the use of copy-pasted materials, unaccompanied links and one-line slogans. This is a moderated forum. Comments deemed abusive, offensive, or those containing profanity may not be published.

SETimes's Comments Policy

Focus on Ukraine

Reportage

Trafficking humans still a problem in BalkansTrafficking humans still a problem in Balkans

Regional co-operation between NGOs and the police can help stop the growing phenomenon, experts said.

SETimes logo

Most Popular

Loading
Loading
Loading

Poll

Do you feel enough is being done to deter people from assisting violent extremist groups?

Yes
No
I don't know