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Monday, July 4, 2022

The Kosovo Commission of Inquiry Will Also Talk to Golob’s Intermediary, Berishaj

 By: Sara Kovač / Nova24tv

After the Kosovo parliament recently established a commission of inquiry to look into the Gen-I energy company’s energy deals, in which the former Gen-I President of the Management Board and new Slovenian Prime Minister, Robert Golob, and Kosovo’s Ambassador to Croatia, Martin Berishaj, were also involved, the Kosovo Assembly voted on another committee of inquiry to investigate the management of the energy crisis in the last few months. Kosovo’s ambassador to Croatia, Martin Berishaj, “whose name has been mentioned in the last few months in relation to a financial scandal in Slovenia,” will also be invited to talk to the commission, Albanian media reported.

The Kosovo Parliament’s Commission of Inquiry into Managing the Energy Crisis has held talks in recent weeks with the key officials in the Kosovo energy sector, including political party leaders and ambassadors, Albanian media reported. This was stated by the members of the commission in question at the meeting at the end of last month, who also pointed out that the Kosovo ambassador to Croatia, Martin Berishaj, “whose name has been mentioned in the last few months in relation to a financial scandal in Slovenia,” will also be invited to talk to the commission. The first proposals or the examination of witnesses were made by the chairman of the commission, Driton Selmanaj.

“In the list of witnesses for questioning, I only mentioned institutions, not individual names. The first on the list is the government, and within it, the Ministry of the Economy, the Ministry of Finance, ERO, KOSTT, KEK, KEDS and KESCO. And then there is the Kosovo Thëngjill Enterprise, the Kosovo Ambassador to Croatia, Martin Berishaj, the People’s Advocate Naim Qelaj, and the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption,” Selmanaj said. An additional request for an interview was submitted by a member of the commission from the Democratic Party of Kosovo, Ferat Shala. “The team of the working group and all operational-technical or organisational groups that worked on this during the energy crisis management should be added to the list,” Shala added.

On the other hand, Artan Abrashi, a commission member from the Vetëvendosje Movement, demanded that political party leaders be included in the list of those to be interviewed, mainly to accept responsibility for their claims at a time when a state of emergency was imposed or approved to deal with the energy crisis. “Leaders of political parties should also be on the list of people to be interviewed. Because at the time the state of emergency for crisis management was approved, they made certain claims that included elements that could be considered important for this commission to look into,” he explained. This request was also supported by the chairman of the commission, Selmanaj. He said they would try to approach the matter as professionally as possible. “If we estimate that any of the politicians in Kosovo can help us discover the truth in a professional manner, we will invite them for an interview,” he added. Following this discussion, the commission continued its meetingMa without the presence of the media, as the engagement of experts and the approval of the committee’s budget were then being discussed. At its last meeting on the 3rd of June, the commission also voted to hold a closed-door debate on the CVs of the experts who will take part in the investigation.

To recap – the Kosovo government’s commission of inquiry wants to investigate the misuse of electricity since the year 2006. This also includes an investigation into capital investments in the Kosovo Energy Corporation KEC, following the privatisation of the company’s distribution wing. The commission’s chairman, Hajdar Beqa from the Democratic Party of Kosovo PDK, believes that the commission should identify a specific area of investigation that will facilitate the detection of abuses. According to him, an action plan of the commission will be drawn up at one of its first sessions, reports the Kosovo Press Agency. The commission’s work is intended to answer many questions and dilemmas about energy for the period between 2006 and 2022. According to Beqa, the commission should have data on the sale of distribution and investment resources, the value of the investment, payment of 17 million euros for KEDS; the ERO measures for capital investments, KEK in the year 2006, and other things.

Some time ago, documents came to light proving that the Belgrade branch of the Slovenian energy company Gen-I paid Berishaj 600 thousand euros. Berishaj was said to be the intermediary in the sale of electricity between the companies Gen-I and Electricity company Kosovo. According to the documentation, in January, the Electricity company Kosovo sold electricity to Gen-I for 105 euros per megawatt hour, while the Electricity company Kosovo bought electricity from a Serbian company for 255 euros per megawatt hour. This means that the difference of 150 euros per megawatt of electricity sold was created, and in two months, the Kosovo company bought 4.2 million euros of electricity from the Serbian branch of Gen-I.

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