Beqir Kalludra reading the verdict against the four Vetevendosje activists November 2017. | Photo: Atdhe Mulla.

Kosovo Judge Beqir Kalludra appointed to Azem Syla case

EULEX transfers major organized crime case to Kosovo Judge Beqir Kalludra.

Beqir Kalludra, a judge at the Department of Violent Crimes of the Basic Court of Prishtina, was appointed as a judge on the so-called ‘Toka’ case, in which Azem Syla, former MP of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, and 21 other people are accused of organized crime.

Aferdita Bytyqi, head of the Basic Court of Prishtina, informed BIRN about Kalludra’s appointment.

On Tuesday, Presiding Judge Petko Petkov announced that Syla’s case will be transferred from EULEX to local judges. EULEX Prosecutor Danilo Ceccarelli was vocally opposed to this transfer, saying that it signifies “the end” for the case.

Kalludra was a judge in the trial of the four Vetevendosje MPs who were accused of letting off tear gas in the Kosovo Assembly, as well as the trial that found four Vetevendosje activists guilty of attacking the Assembly building with a handheld mortar launcher. The latter case has been appealed and a written verdict from the Appeal Court is expected later today.

Vetevendosje MP Albin Kurti called Kalludra “a fascist sympathizer” after media reported that the judge, who is fond of sharing inspirational quotes on his social media, shared a quote by Adolf Hitler.

Kalludra will be judging one of the biggest organized crime cases in Kosovo; the Syla case involves a wide network of people who are accused of appropriating land in Prishtina suburbs.

In October 2016, the Special Prosecution raised two indictments against Syla and 39 other individuals on various charges, from organized crime to money laundering. The first indictment accuses 22 defendants of organized crime, money laundering, receiving bribes, serious fraud, fraud committed during duty, issuing illegal court verdicts, abuse of office, legalization of falsified content, and fiscal evasion.

The second indictment accuses the remaining 17 of money laundering. According to the indictment, members of this organized criminal group cooperated with one another, each with specific roles, to deprive Kosovo of its social property through criminal activities, including the falsification of decisions and other official documents, fraud, and activities related to corruption.

22/02/2018 - 13:00

22 February 2018 - 13:00

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