Kosovo Special Prosecution Indicts Eight for Abuse of Office after Kallxo.com Investigation

The Kosovo Special Prosecution announced on Monday that it had filed an indictment against eight individuals for abuse of official position related to the construction of a residential complex in Prishtina’s “Lakrishte” neighbourhood, which was revealed by a Kallxo.com investigation three years ago.

The Kosovo Special Prosecution filed an indictment against eight individuals for abuse of official position related to the conversion of public property and plans for construction of a residential complex worth 120 million euros in the capital, which BIRN and Internews Kosova’s Albanian language publication Kallxo.com investigated in 2021.

The prosecution file from the indictment states that “during that period, intentionally and with the purpose of gaining unlawful material benefits for third parties, he (chief executive of NPB, Hajdar Hoxha) signed the contract with the bidding group, a contract which he knew was harmful”.

Kallxo.com reported in April 2021 that the same officials now facing charges had exceeded their authority by  facilitating the conversion of public property into private property, resulting in significant financial damage to the Prishtina Public Housing Enterprise, NPB, and the municipality of Prishtina, the only shareholder of NPB.

The investigation revealed suspicious procedures in the selection of winning companies, restriction of competition, lack of transparency, and significant health risks to those living near the project site because of exposure to asbestos-containing materials.

The Special Prosecution argues that the NPB and municipality of Prishtina suffered 28.7 million euros in damages as a result of public property being transferred to the group of investors which bid on the property. 

The damages also include the amount paid in the name of the construction permit fee, 376,346 euros. 

The prosecution alleges that the defendants had the  intention to unlawfully benefit third parties to the detriment of public property.

In addition to the charge of abuse of official position, Hoxha, in his capacity as the Chief Executive Officer of NPB,  is also charged with signing a harmful contract, enabling the investment group to indefinitely use the public property without any legal basis.

According to the announcement by the Special Prosecution, the property in question has been seized by court order.

Kallxo.com reported in 2022 that the Public Housing Enterprise and the Kosovo Privatization Agency had secretly attempted to set the boundaries of their properties in Prishtina’s ‘Lakrishte’ neighbourhood. The boundary setting aimed to pave the way for the dubious NPB project, valued at 120 million euros, for the construction of the residential development.