The government of Kosovo has ended the Anti-Corruption Task Force on Monday, a body that operated within the Kosovo Police for ten years.
The decision to dismantle the body will strengthen “the separation of powers”, the government claimed.
The task- force operated with 30 investigators and its head, who reported to the Investigation Department of the Kosovo Police.
Minister of Justice Selim Selimi did not vote for the termination of the Anti-Corruption Task Force at the government meeting.
“[…]I think we need a better plan[…] There will also be a risk of damaging high profile corruption cases,” Selimi wrote on Twitter.
Kosovo Law Institute considered the decision a political retaliation against the investigative body.
During the ten years, the task-force dealt with several high profile cases.
The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) has assessed that the body played an essential role in in the area of anti-corruption detection, initial steps and investigations.
“The Task Force was able to detect and take on high-profile investigations involving prominent and politically-exposed persons, as well as complex financial cases, such as cases of privatizations or public tenders, which had incurred damages to the public budget estimated at several million EUR,” EULEX found in its first Justice Monitoring Report published on Monday.
The report noted that several cases involving high-profile officials had stalled or recorded setbacks.
“A tendency was noted to maintain some cases in the initial phase, while the opening of formal investigations was being delayed by the (Special Prosecution of Kosovo) SPRK until the last moment, possibly in order to prolong the procedure so that the investigation extends over the legal deadline of two years, or to serve other pressures,” it read.
One of EULEX’s report recommendation is “to strengthen the Kosovo Police Anti-Corruption Task Force as a key player in the area of anti-corruption detection and investigations”.