Chief EULEX judge quits, says mission is ‘political’

In an interview with French daily Le Monde, former President of EULEX Judges accused the rule-of-law mission of corruption; EULEX responds that an independent investigation is looking into allegations against the judge himself.

Malcolm Simmons, President of Judges for the European Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo, EULEX, quit and accused senior member colleagues of corruption, Le Monde reported on Thursday.

In the interview with Le Monde, Simmons said that he had denounced several instances of corruption within EULEX, and that EULEX is a “political mission.” He claimed that a colleague hacked his private email account.

“He wanted to know what I knew about his relationship with another judge, because he knew I was investigating this issue,” Simmons said in the interview. “I, in fact, had received a complaint from the defense in the Drenica case about the way the jury was formed. He had requested that this judge be named in the case. He told me he had a relationship and they wanted to spend more time together…  All this was in contradiction to normal procedure,”  Simmons said.

Simmons also accused the mission of political interference, such as in a trial for former Kosovo Liberation Army commander Fatmir Limaj.

“I was presiding over the trial in 2013… The president of EULEX judges at the time, Charles Smith, told me that the mission wanted Mr. Limaj to be sentenced. He put pressure on me, pressures that I took as a personal threat,” he said.

Simmons, a British national, claimed that neither the EU nor the British Foreign Office addressed his complaints or supported him.

Following Simmons’ allegations in the Le Monde interview, EULEX said in a press statement that Simmons has been, “over the past year, the subject of a series of independent investigations into serious allegations against him.”

The press release said that the investigative team is based in Brussels and chaired by a former European Court of Justice judge.

“These allegations  are in different stages  of investigation and some have proceeded to a Disciplinary Board and are now awaiting the Board’s decision. The rest are ongoing,” the press release said.

“All the allegations recently expressed by Mr. Simmons have been treated equally seriously and have also resulted in an ongoing investigation being conducted in the same manner as the ones against him… Mr. Simmons was requested to furnish all evidence in his possession to support his allegations, but – regrettably- has not done so yet.”

16/11/2017 - 16:30

16 November 2017 - 16:30

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