Court Acquits Kosovo Deputy PM Limaj of All Charges

The Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo Fatmir Limaj has been acquitted of organized crimes, abuse of official position,  and corruption charges.

The basic court of Pristina has acquitted him along with other accused Endrit Shala, Shpetim Telaki, Nexhat Krasniqi and Florim Zuka on Friday.

Mr. Limaj, the then Minister of Transport, Post, and Telecommunications, was charged with accepting bribes, of manipulating tender procedures and other charges in the years between 2008-2010.

The panel of judges was headed by Judge Maria Tuma, a judge from the EU rule-of-law mission, European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX Kosovo).

Delivering the verdict, Maria Tuma said, “the accused have been acquitted because it has not been proven that they have committed the acts for which they have been charged.”

Limaj, the current Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo was the former commander of Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA. Being an ally of the current President Hashim Thachi, Limaj served as a Minister in Thachi government.

The relations between Limaj and Thachi, however, hit the rock when EULEX charged Limaj with organized crimes and corruption in 2012.

Limaj, as a result, established a new political party, the Initiative for Kosovo (NISMA) together with a former KLA secretary Jakup Krasniqi in 2014 to challenge Thaci’s Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK).

Limaj’s NISMA lately joined the coalition government with the PDK and Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj’s Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) in June ahead of the general elections. He has been serving as the Deputy PM ever since as part of the agreement.

Fatmir Limaj was charged with two indictments in 2012 and 2014. The charges were consolidated later in 2015.

Limaj has so far been acquitted of every indictment he was charged with including the charge of war crimes against Serbs and Albanians in 2005.

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