By: Sara Kovač / Nova24tv
Following a criminal complaint filed by the Kosovo Anti-Corruption Agency against Ambassador Martin Berishaj for failing to declare his assets, the case now remains with the Kosovo Prosecutor’s Office, to investigate the evidence and, if necessary, continue the criminal proceedings, foreign media outlets report. We heard a lot about Berishaj before the elections, when Robert Golob found himself under international financial investigation for transfers made by the Serbian branch of the Gen-I energy company to the private company MB Consulting in Montenegro. The owner of the company in question, Berishaj, is said to have transferred this cash back to Golob, who in turn invested it in one of the Italian funds that guarantee anonymity to its users.
On Wednesday, it was revealed that the Kosovo Anti-Corruption Agency has filed a criminal complaint against the Kosovo Ambassador to Croatia, Martin Berishaj, as he failed to declare to the agency that he is the owner of a company based in Montenegro. Former director of the Anti-Corruption Agency, Hasan Preteni, told the Albanian Post media outlet that the prosecutor’s office would launch an investigation after receiving the case, and if they find any incriminating evidence, they will send the Ambassador to court to face charges of failing to declare his assets. According to Preteni, false declarations or the failure to declare assets are criminal offences, punishable by the Criminal Code, which provides for a prison sentence of 6 months to 5 years.
The news in question caused quite a stir in the Kosov media, as Berishaj was involved in a financial scandal in Slovenia in April, when the Slovenian media outlet Planet TV published documents showing that money was being transferred from the energy company Gen-I’s branch in Belgrade, to the company of Kosovo’s Ambassador in Montenegro, called MB Consulting. Now that Robert Golob is in charge of the Slovenian government, he has dismissed the director of the office that had been investigating his case and the Kosovo ambassador, foreign media report, adding that the personnel purges marked the very first days of Golob’s rule.
But on the other hand, a parliamentary commission to investigate the purchasing of electricity during the Kosovo crisis has started its work in Kosovo, and their Minister of the Economy, Artane Rizvanolli, has already started questioning the members of the commission. But Ambassador Berishaj himself has so far not been affected. Kosovo President Vjosan Osmani, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Donika Gërvalla, and Prime Minister Albin Kurti himself have stood by him and believe he is innocent. Berishaj, however, only spoke out on Facebook. He denied being involved in money laundering but did not deny being the owner of a Montenegrin company, nor did he deny having made payments to the electricity company Gen-I – the branch of the Slovenian company in Serbia.
Albanian media outlets further explain that Gen-I is the largest electricity company in the Balkans. There are suspicions that the company is involved in the Serbian electricity mafia. Certain Albanian media outlets later established that there are also two companies in Kosovo owned by Berishaj. These two companies are “Myloja L.L.C.” and “Kosovo Screen L.L.C.” Berishaj had Slovenian partners in these companies, including those who have been suspected of fraud in Slovenia in the past. It is almost superfluous to mention that the Albanian Post interviewed Primož Cirman, an “investigative journalist” who is very close to Golob, in April, who, of course, said at the time that the scandal was invented by Janez Janša.