Albanian PM files defamation lawsuit against Kosovo counterpart

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times January 17, 2020 10:53

Albanian PM files defamation lawsuit against Kosovo counterpart

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  • Relations between the two PMs deteriorated last spring after a Berlin meeting on April 30 hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron gathering Western Balkan leaders to discuss their European future, external influences in the region, but at the heart of the discussion was the issue of relations between Kosovo and Serbia.

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TIRANA, Jan. 16 – The ‘Oath of Justice’, a program prepared by the Kosovo Institute of Justice, reported that Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama has filed a lawsuit against outgoing Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, alleging he has defamed him and seeking compensation of the damage caused to his image. 

Rama’s lawsuit, which the ‘Oath of Justice’ claims to have seen and which has over 30 pages, reads “On 17.10.2019 and 29.10.2019, the respondent Ramush Haradinaj, at the time of making the statement, Acting Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, in an interview given to journalist Artur Zheji published in the 360 ​​degree program on 17.10.2019 as well as in the interview conducted on 29.10.2019 in the TV program Pressing Zone published on television “T7″ of the Republic of Kosovo has made a public statement of defamatory and deceptive facts in the address of the claimant as a consequence of the violation of the honor, personality, reputation and dignity of the claimant with the consequences provided for in the applicable legislation.”

The indictment alleges that the statements were made in the context of debates about the dialogue process between Kosovo and Serbia and that, in principle, the indictment would have to result in a mutually binding agreement and mutual recognition between these two states.

“This issue has dominated the public debate since late 2018 and 2019, resulting in allegations of ‘treason’, each time against persons alleged to have supported the idea of ​​so-called ‘exchange of territories’ during this dialogue process. between Kosovo and Serbia,” it is quoted in the text of the lawsuit.

Referring to some statements of Haradinaj in which Rama was mentioned in the text of the indictment, it is stated that “the Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania has no formal and legal-political role in the eventual agreement between the Republic of Kosovo and Serbia. This is due to the fact that this kind of agreement, based on the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo, constitutes an act that can be approved only and exclusively by the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo and, moreover, requires the exclusive approval of 2/3 of all MPs. The Assembly of Kosovo [1], and consequently 80 votes in favor, including members of the ruling and opposition coalitions, under any circumstances. The Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania has never supported or stated in support of such an idea.”

Haradinaj wrote on facebook late Wednesday that he is aware of reports of Rama’s indictment.

“I will, by law, prepare a response to the lawsuit, within the legal deadlines! Prime Minister Rama’s lawsuit is completely unfounded and a political diversion made by him to hide behind media dramas and to evade responsibility. Our nation and Kosovo have people who worship God at all times,” Haradinaj’s post reads.

Relations between the two PMs deteriorated last spring after a Berlin meeting on April 30 hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron gathering Western Balkan leaders to discuss their European future, external influences in the region, but at the heart of the discussion was the issue of relations between Kosovo and Serbia.

After that meeting, Haradinaj said he had faced pressure from Kosovo President Hashim Thaci and Prime Minister Edi Rama to suspend tariffs on Serbian goods imposed in November 2018, leading to the suspension of talks with Serbia.

On his part, Rama said at the time that he had not pressured Haradinaj to lift the tariffs but had suggested he listen to Merkel and Macron, who asked Haradinaj to suspend the tax temporarily, for six months or even four months, pledging to enter the Kosovo-Serbia reconciliation process themselves.

Haradinaj then said that “there is a well-founded suspicion that Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic have discussed the partition of Kosovo and that those discussions were held under the leadership of the Chief Minister of the European Union’s Foreign Policy Federica Mogherini.”

Distance disputes between prime ministers have been repeated several times over the past year.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times January 17, 2020 10:53