UK rule of law undermined by EU agency

EU Threat would prevent the media from reporting on any aspect of the case, despite the extensive global coverage that it has already received, and despite the extensive public...

UK rule of law undermined by EU agency threatening Bindmans’ client and solicitor with criminal prosecution!

Bindmans’ client Maria Bamieh – whom the firm represents in her whistleblowing claim in the London Employment Tribunal – has been threatened with criminal prosecution by the EU Agency against whom she is litigating.

The threat has been made against Ms Bamieh by the EULEX lawyers, the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo, if she discloses any details of her claim to any non-parties.  This is a basic step required in order to litigate, for example in speaking to witnesses. The threat of criminal prosecution has also been made specifically against Peter Daly,  solicitor at Bindmans LLP acting for Ms Bamieh in her claim.

Mr Daly is representing Ms Bamieh in her claims for whistleblowing detriment and dismissal against EULEX.  Ms Bamieh, a former EULEX prosecutor, alleges that after she blew the whistle on serious corruption within EULEX in Kosovo, she suffered a campaign of detriment including her dismissal. The prospect of criminal prosecution in Kosovo is particularly serious, given that such a prosecution would be carried out by EULEX prosecutors and judges, including potentially the individuals about whom Ms Bamieh has blown the whistle.

In a further development, EULEX has written to the Tribunal seeking blanket privacy and anonymity orders over all remaining stages of the proceedings. This would prevent the media from reporting on any aspect of the case, despite the extensive global coverage that it has already received, and despite the extensive public comment already made by EULEX staff against Ms Bamieh.

The proceedings have already been the subject of hearings in the London Central Employment Tribunal on 28 April 2015 and 18 June 2015, with a further hearing listed for September 2015.

Shah Qureshi, Head of Employment and  partner at Bindmans LLP, said:

“It is a fundamental aspect of a functioning rule of law that solicitors are not threatened with criminal prosecution simply for representing their clients.  The threat made by EULEX’s lawyers contravenes this basic principle.  It is also a threat made against an individual purely for the act of asserting her legal rights in what seems to be an attempt simply to intimidate her into withdrawing her claim before it can be fairly heard.

To make a threat of criminal prosecution against a solicitor, on the basis of his actions which merely comply with his professional obligations to his client and to the Court, is deeply concerning. It is not an empty threat – it is made by the very agency that would instigate the prosecution.

This apparent attempt to intimidate is being perpetrated by an EU agency – no less than the EU’s largest foreign mission – against Member State nationals and in a Member State Tribunal. This is a substantial attack on the Rule of Law in the UK and we deplore it without reservation. The fact that this attack has been made by an organisation founded to protect the Rule of Law ought to be the source of deepest concern in Brussels and in Kosovo.

We have written to the appropriate authorities to draw this behaviour to their attention, including in particular the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini, whose portfolio of responsibilities includes EULEX. We have asked Ms Mogherini to withdraw the threat without delay and we would hope she would do so in the interests of justice and in support of the rule of law function which EULEX purports to uphold.”

Ms Bamieh’s solicitor Peter Daly of Bindmans LLP said:

“The threats against me and my client – together with the highly unusual request for blanket anonymity and the desire to obscure these proceedings from any scrutiny by the public or the press – do not appear to sit comfortably with EULEX’s function as a protector of the rule of law.

This was a threat made calmly in open correspondence, citing a number of Kosovan statutes as the basis for prosecution. The acts which would breach these statutes would include approaching witnesses for evidence to support the claim we are bringing. No allegation is made against either me or my client that we have taken any step contrary to the letter or spirit of the rules of UK litigation – it is for complying with these rules that the threat has been made. A successful prosecution under the cited Kosovan statutes would result in jail time for me and for my client, potentially for several years.

Nevertheless, neither my client nor I intend to be intimidated. We have drawn them to the attention of the Tribunal, as well as to the relevant government and regulatory bodies in the UK, the EU, Kosovo and elsewhere.

The claim raises important questions over the actions of the EU in Kosovo. These threats escalate these to questions over the actions of the EU in the UK.”

Maria Bamieh said: “Since I first raised my concerns over three years ago, I have undergone a steadily increasing campaign against me. These latest developments only serve to demonstrate the lengths to which the relevant powers will go to prevent my concerns from being openly discussed. Despite this, I shall not be cowed and I shall not be intimidated.”

Since the end of the war NATO war, which fought against the Serbian forces of Yugoslavia, which was in charge for indiscriminate killing ethnic Albanian men, women and children and massively expelling them from Kosovo, I country, which 16 years after the war is the poorest in Europe with millionaire politicians mired in crime.

A third of the workforce is unemployed, and corruption is widespread. About two in three under the age of 25 are currently unemployed, and nearly 50% of the 1.8 million citizens of Kosovo are considered to be poor. Public universities are attended mainly by the poor, although the quality of the studies is on the verge of flooding! Findings suggests that lecturing assistants have gone bankrupt on graduation, faculties have been mainly producing many false diplomas with plagiarism in Bachelors, Masters professors and doctors, which has gone unpunished!

On the other hand, crime coexists with millionaire politicians. NATO dossier which was published in 2011, showed that the United States and some other Western powers that support the government of Kosovo, have extensive knowledge of the alleged criminal ties of some politicians for several years. The European Union Rule of Law (EULEX) mission was identified as a mission to the Rule of Crime, according to findings that confirmed and documented by British prosecutor Maria Bamieh, who was an employee of the mission and now under the sword of threat and intimidation.


Notes to Editors

  1. Maria Bamieh’s allegations have already been widely reported in the UK and international media and these reports are widely accessible using Google News.
  2. As the proceedings are live, we are not intending to give further comment at this time.

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