PRISTINA, Kosovo -- Six officials of the Prishtina City Municipality were arrested by Kosovo police. The arrested are under suspicion to have misused financial means of the municipality in the context with a public tender. The alleged criminal damage is said to be several hundred-thousand euros.
Both the municipal director for infrastructure as well as the Prishtina head of procurement belong to the arrested. Reportedly the respective persons will remain in custody for 48 hours. According to a statement of the Kosovo Police, "investigations are conducted by the Directorate for Economic Crimes and Corruption".
Meanwhile the municipality denies all accusations. The municipal budget was not damaged, Prishtina officials claim.
The arrests caused clashes between the Mayor of Kosovo's capital city and head of the main oppositional party LDK, Isa Mustafa, and representatives of the Kosovo Ministry for Internal Affairs. Over the last week Mustafa repeatedly accused the Kosovo police to be infiltrated by members of the former war-time secret service organization SHIK. Nowadays SHIK is accused by several Kosovar politicians to still be illegally active in support of Kosovo's ruling political party PDK - headed by Kosovo PM Thaci.
Prishtina Mayor Mustafa shows himself convinced, that current arrests are politically motivated. He even compared the applied methods of the beforehand investigation against his staff with those of the Serbian police and intelligence structures.
Meanwhile the responsible Ministries and administrative bodies replied vague on Mustafa's complaints, by saying Mustafa's accusations would "damage the image of Kosovo police, which seeks to establish the rule of law." - KON / NK
Although not proven guilty, and against privacy rights, the names of the arrested persons are published already at telegrafi - KON).