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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, August 4, 2021

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• Head of Financial Intelligence Unit sacked (media)
• Investigations against senior officialsmentioned in recordings (Betimi per Drejtesi)
• “Proof that prosecution, judiciary are influenced by interest groups” (Telegrafi)
• Vetevendosje people in the board that government proposed to Assembly (Koha)
• Haradinaj calls on government to treat wildfires more seriously (media)
• Vetevendosje implies Arben Vitia will run for Prishtina Mayor (Express/ATV)
• COVID-19: 110 new cases, 1 death (media)

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  • Head of Financial Intelligence Unit sacked (media)
  • Investigations against people mentioned in recordings (Betimi per Drejtesi)
  • “Proof that prosecution, judiciary are influenced by interest groups” (Telegrafi)
  • Vetevendosje people in the board that government proposed to Assembly (Koha)
  • Haradinaj calls on government to treat wildfires more seriously (media)
  • Vetevendosje implies Vitia will run for Prishtina Mayor (Express/ATV)
  • COVID-19: 110 new cases, 1 death (media)

Head of Financial Intelligence Unit sacked (media)

Kosovo’s Minister of Finance, Hekuran Murati, said on Tuesday that the head of the Financial Intelligence Unit, Dardan Nuhiu, was sacked after audio recordings were published on Monday and Tuesday involving him. In the recordings, Nuhiu is heard telling an interlocutor that he plans to control powerful media in Kosovo and then use them to apply pressure public people in case they don’t listen to him.

The audio recordings published by Shqip news website also include Shemsije Asllani, a prosecutor with the Department for Serious Crimes in Prishtina. In one of the recordings, Asllani is heard telling an interlocutor she will do her best to help him with a case.

Investigations against senior officials mentioned in recordings (Betimi per Drejtesi)

Citing unnamed sources in the Basic Court in Prishtina, Betimi per Drejtesi reported that the prosecution has authorised the start of investigations against senior state officials included in the audio recordings published on Monday and Tuesday. The senior officials will be investigated on the suspicion of abuse of position. “Investigations will be launched against all persons mentioned in the audio recordings which were published in online media the last couple of days,” the source said.

“Proof that prosecution, judiciary are influenced by interest groups” (Telegrafi)

Civil society representatives in Prishtina reacted on Tuesday after Shqip news website published audio recordings involving Financial Intelligence Unit chief Dardan Nuhiu. The latter was sacked with immediate effect by the supervisory board of the unit on Tuesday.

Ylli Zekaj from the Kosovo Law Institute said in a debate in Dukagjini TV on Tuesday that the audio recordings proved what was already being said for years. “In our monitoring we said that the state prosecution and the judiciary are influenced by different groups of interest … The response from the state so far has been fragile,” he said.

Zekaj argued that the public should be informed about the course of these processes because the audio recordings have an impact on people’s trust in the judiciary. He also said that the recordings confirm that there needs to be a thorough vetting process in the judiciary.

Vetevendosje people in the board that government proposed to Assembly (Koha)

The Kosovo Government proposed to the Assembly on Tuesday the new board of directors of the Privatisation Agency of Kosovo (PAK) and it included at least three members of the ruling parties in the new board.

Prime Minister Albin Kurti, who presented the list of nominated board members to his government on Tuesday, said that the new board will be mandated to dissolve PAK and transform it into an agency that will operate within the government.

“Let this be the last board of PAK so that we can open a development era in the Republic of Kosovo, toward the Sovereign Fund, the Development Agency and the Development Bank, so that the independent Kosovo can overcome the abusive appropriations from the past, including the enigmatic killing, the enigmatic death of the former head of PAK,” Kurti said.

Koha notes that Nazmi Mikullovci, who has been nominated as head of the new board, is a member of the Vetevendosje. Mentor Hyseni, another nominated member of the board, had joined Vetevendosje two years ago and ran for MP. Xhevdet Neziraj, an MP from the IRDK political party, has also been nominated to the new board.

The Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), one of the opposition parties in Kosovo, reacted after the names of the new board members were published. “The logic of politicising all areas of government, through party supporters, is both illegal and morally wrong. This has become a common practice in legally independent agencies by the populist government which has turned capture and nepotism into its cause,” the LDK said in a statement.

Haradinaj calls on government to treat wildfires more seriously (media)

Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) leader Ramush Haradinaj said on Tuesday that he is concerned about the wildfires spreading in different locations in Kosovo and called on the government to address the issue with greater seriousness. “The lives and properties of the people of Kosovo could be at stake,” Haradinaj said in a Facebook post. “I also want to appeal for increased caution so that the fires are not caused by people”.

Vetevendosje implies Arben Vitia will run for Prishtina Mayor (Express/ATV)

Kosovo’s Minister of Health, Arben Vitia, has often been mentioned as a candidate of the Vetevendosje Movement for Prishtina Mayor in the upcoming October local elections. A secretary of the Vetevendosje center in Prishtina told ATV on Tuesday that this party has yet to make an official decision on the candidate for Prishtina Mayor. “But a continuous request of the citizens is that one of the best ministers of this government should run for mayor. I believe the decision will be made public very soon,” he said.

COVID-19: 110 new cases, 1 death (media)

Kosovo’s Ministry of Health said in a statement on Tuesday that 110 new cases of COVID-19 and one death from the virus were recorded in the last 24 hours. Two persons recovered from the virus during this time. There are 689 active cases with COVID-19. 17,322 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours. To date, 445,650 vaccines were administered in Kosovo.

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