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Press Release

Ruling on the request to dismiss the indictment in MTPT case

Pristina, 29 July 2013

Today, the Basic Court of Pristina issued a ruling on the objections to evidence and the requests to dismiss the indictment which were filed by the defence in the so called Ministry of Transport, Post and Telecommunications (MTPT) case. The EULEX Presiding Trial Judge confirmed most of the charges contained in the indictment and decided to proceed with the case at main trial. The case deals with alleged corruptive behavior at the MTPT in the period from 2008 to 2010.

The court found sufficient evidence for a well-grounded suspicion that the defendants Fatmir Limaj, former Minster of the MTPT, Nexhat Krasniqi, former Chief of Procurement of the MTPT, and Endrit Shala, former Chief of Cabinet and Political Advisor to Fatmir Limaj, formed an organised criminal group which committed the serious criminal offences of Abuse of Official Position or Authority and Accepting Bribes. In addition, the court found a well-grounded suspicion that the defendant Florim Zuka, owner of 'Tali' Company, committed the criminal offence of Offering Bribes as well as Misuse of Economic Authorization. Further, the court confirmed the charge of Non-Declaration of Received Campaign Money against Fatmir Limaj as it found sufficient evidence that the defendant had not declared money which he received as political campaign contribution for his election campaign in 2007.

The charge against Fatmir Limaj and Nexhat Kransiqi for Misappropriation in Office, and the charge against Fatmir Limaj, Nexhat Krasniqi, Endrit Shala and Florim Zuka for the criminal offence of Entering into Harmful Contracts were both dismissed by the court. Also the charges of Money Laundering and Unauthorized Ownership, Possession or Use of Weapon for which Fatmir Limaj was indicted were dismissed by the court. The court dismissed in its entirety the charges against the defendants Florim Lima, Demir Lima and Gani Zogaj and terminated the criminal proceedings against them. The defendants Florim Lima and Demir Lima were charged with the criminal offences of Organized Crime and Money Laundering, the defendant Gani Zogaj was charged with the criminal offences of Obstruction of Evidence and Destroying or Concealing Archive Materials. The court concluded that there is no sufficient evidence to support these charges.

With regard to the evidence collected by the prosecution during the investigative stage, the court found several procedural violations and excluded various items of evidence. Particularly the evidence obtained during the searches conducted in the house of Fatmir Limaj and in the server rooms of the Kosovo Assembly on 28 April 2010 were found inadmissible as in the opinion of the court both searches were unlawful because no exigent circumstances existed which would have allowed the police to conduct the search without a written court order and without a written retroactive approval by the competent pre-trial judge. The court rejected the objection submitted by the defence that the intercepted SMS messages are fabricated and therefore unreliable. It was held by the court that the reliability and credibility of the SMS messages may only be duly assessed in course of the main trial, which is the part of the criminal proceedings when the parties are allowed to present evidence to support their stance and the court can assess the documentary evidence disclosed by the defence.

The Special Prosecution Office and the defence council are entitled to file an appeal against the court's ruling to the Court of Appeals.