From: Exit Staff
Kosovo MP Sent to Serve Time for Embezzlement after Surrender

Kosovo MP Etem Arifi, who was on the run after being sentenced to 15 months in prison for embezzlement, has surrendered to the police and started to serve his sentence on October 1.

Authorities told Koha newspaper that Arifi was transferred from Pristina to the Lipjan prison to serve his sentence. 

Arifi, an MP with the Ashkali Party for Integration, was sentenced to 15 months in prison in April 2018 for appropriating €26,000 through an NGO.

He was due to start his sentence on 9 March 2020, but the court postponed it twice by four months in total due to his poor health. A third similar request was rejected in early July.

Following the Appeals Court’s final verdict on July 1, Arifi should have begun serving his sentence but he failed to report to a detention center.    

In August, a Pristina court issued an arrest warrant against Arifi, but he gave himself up on September 29. 

Despite having been sentenced to prison, Arifi voted three Kosovo governments in and out: the Kurti Government on February 3, the non-confidence motion against the same government on March 25, and the Hoti Government on June 3.

In the last case, his vote was decisive in the forming of the current government, who received only 61 votes in the 120-seat parliament, the minimum number of votes required.

The Vetevendosje Party of Albin Kurti has asked the Constitutional Court to rule on whether the Hoti Government was voted in constitutionally. They claim that MP Etem Arifi’s vote renders the parliamentary vote invalid.