EULEX Claims Resigned Judge ‘Was Under Investigation’
By Die Morina
After Malcolm Simmons quit as president of the judges of the EU’s rule-of-law mission in Kosovo, saying it had become too politicised, EULEX has said the judge himself was the subject of serious investigations.
The president of the judges in the European Union’s rule-of-law mission in Kosovo, EULEX, Malcolm Simmons, announced his resignation in an interview with the French newspaper Le Monde on Thursday, saying that “EULEX is a political mission”.
“In the past few weeks, I raised a number of concerns regarding corruption within the mission,” Le Monde quoted Simmons as saying.
Following his claims, EULEX issued a statement pointing that “Malcolm Simmons has been, over the past year, the subject of a series of independent investigations into serious allegations against him.”
According this statement, these investigations are being conducted by a team, formed and based in Brussels and chaired by a former judge of the European Court of Justice.
“These allegations are in different stages of investigation and some have proceeded to a Disciplinary Board and are now awaiting the Board’s decision. The rest are ongoing,” the statement issued by EULEX added.
Simmons told Le Monde that EULEX had a political agenda, and “wanted to bring down a part of the Kosovo political class, such as Fatmir Limaj.”
Limaj has been investigated by EULEX over eight years, charged with organised crime and corruption while he was Kosovo’s Minister of Transport, Post and Telecommunications.
“All the allegations recently expressed by Mr Simmons have been treated equally seriously and have also resulted in an ongoing investigation being conducted in the same manner as the ones against him,” EULEX said.
The statement insisted that while Simmons was requested to furnish all the evidence in his possession to support his allegations, he “regrettably- has not done so yet”.
EULEX has operated in Kosovo since 2008 with a team of prosecutors and judges, tasked mainly with dealing with high-profile corruption among officials.