January 12, 2012
European and Kosovo police on Thursday raided the offices of the health ministry and arrested four officials in a corruption probe, the ministry and EU rule of law mission (EULEX) said.
Pristina, KOSOVO by AFP
| Thursday, January 12, 2012 | The IndependenT NewsweeK |
Those arrested included ministry permanent secretary Ilir Tolaj, EULEX said.
“The arrests were made with respect to corruption-related offences, including abuse of official position through manipulation of tenders and entering into harmful contracts which have damaged the Kosovo budget,” EULEX spokesman Blerim Krasniqi told AFP.
The EULEX prosecutor “will be asking for their detention, or other measures which prohibit their return to the ministry of health until the investigation is concluded.”
The ministry was sealed off by police as investigators took out carton boxes with documents and put them into their cars, an AFP photographer said.
EULEX was launched just months after Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. It is mandated to strengthen the rule of law by overseeing and tackling cases local authorities are unable to handle because of their sensitivity.