A 2013 view of the headquarters of the US State Department, in Washington, reissued 18 August 2017. Photo: EPA/MIKE THEILER

US Blacklists Former Kosovo Procurement Official for Corruption

Nexhat Krasniqi, a former procurement director at Kosovo’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, and his two children were designated on Friday by the US government for ‘significant corruption’ – which means they cannot enter the US.

The United States announced on Friday that it has designated Nexhat Krasniqi, a former Procurement Director at Kosovo’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, for “involvement in significant corruption”. Two of Krasniqi’s children, Aulona and Olti, have also been designated.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller in a statement said the designation means Krasniqi and his two children are barred from the United States.

“As a public official responsible for oversight of procurement contracts, Krasniqi abused his public position by accepting bribes in exchange for awarding a contract permitting the construction of an industrial park in the Drenas municipality by the operating company Eltoni,” Miller said.

In 2015, Pristina Basic Court sentenced Krasniqi to two years and two months in prison after he was found guilty of charges related to the business park but he was not banned from holding public office. He was accused of receiving bribes and entering harmful contracts.

In June 2021, he was appointed procurement officer at the Ministry of Infrastructure, a move that sparked reactions among the opposition and civil society. In May 2022, the ministry announced that another official had been appointed to Krasniqi’s position.

The State Department said the latest action shows the United States stands with those in Kosovo who seek accountability for corrupt public officials.

“This designation reaffirms the US commitment to counter corruption, which harms the public interest, hampers countries’ economic prosperity, and curtails the ability of governments to respond effectively to the needs of their people,” said Miller.

Krasniqi was part of an indictment which Kosovo’s Special Prosecution filed against former Minister of Transport and Telecommunication Fatmir Limaj and three other officials for organised crime, abuse of official position and authority and accepting bribes. They were all acquitted in 2017.

04/11/2023 - 10:06

04 November 2023 - 10:06

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