European Interest

Prosecutors accuse Kosovo ruling PDK officials of corruption

Flickr/Marco Fieber/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Eleven people from President Hashim Thaci‘s ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) have been indicted for allegedly handing out state jobs to people based on their political affiliation.

“The indictment has to do with the criminal activities of hiring, sharing official positions based on party affiliations and friendly connections,” a special prosecutor’s office said in a statement on April 6.

The 11 accused reportedly worked in “co-perpetration… granting unlawful privileges and advantages” to people seeking posts in government agencies and public firms.

As reported by Radio Free Europe (REF/RL), the case is based on wiretaps made in 2011 during an anticorruption operation by the European Union police and justice mission (EULEX), set up after Kosovo’s 1998-99 independence war to foster rule of law in the former Serbian province.

EU officials say Kosovo’s PDK party, which has been in power since 2007, has not done enough to purge ingrained corruption and organised crime. This is widely viewed as an obstacle to foreign investment in the impoverished Balkan nation of 1.8m people.

Last year, Kosovo was ranked 85th out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s corruption perceptions index.

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