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Press Release

Second verdict for the former judge

22 October 2012

On Friday 19 October 2012, a mixed panel of EULEX and local judges at the Prishtinë/Priština District Court found Kolë Puka, a former judge, guilty of issuing unlawful judicial decisions, abusing official position or authority, money laundering and fraud. Mr Puka was given an aggregate sentence of ten years of imprisonment, and prohibited from holding public office or practicing law for three years after serving the sentence.

The court determined that Kolë Puka defrauded the Kosovo Insurance Company in Liquidation of more than 1.2 million euros, by filing false claims for compensation, supposedly on behalf of about two dozen injured parties who had suffered accidents before the war. However, the injured parties were unaware that the claims were filed, and they received none of the money paid out by the Company.

As a result of the money laundering conviction, the prosecutor has the authority to initiate a proceeding in the District Court for confiscation of the assets that were obtained from money laundering.

The other two defendants, Zef Marleku and Lon Palushaj, were acquitted of all charges. They were alleged by the prosecutor to have cooperated with Mr. Puka in defrauding the Insurance Company, but the Court determined that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the charges.

The case is prosecuted by a local prosecutor from the Kosovo Special Prosecution Office (SPRK).