BIRN Kosovo Exposé of Hospital Security Issues Draws Criticism

A BIRN TV report, highlighting the lack of controls on who can enter COVID-19 hospitals wards in Kosovo, has angered politicians and hospitals alike.

BIRN Kosovo Director Jeta Xharra has been criticised after she and a camera crew visited the Infectious Disease Clinic on Prishtina in Tuesday, where dozens of COVID-19 patients were being treated, to see if it was possible to gain access.

On November 16, Health Minister Armend Zemaj told BIRN that there was “no chance” of anyone who had not been tested for COVID-19 entering the clinic, and that police had been deployed and were operating a zero-tolerance policy on unauthorised entry.

However, Xharra and her camera crew encountered no police and were able to enter multiple clinics treating patients with COVID-19, including the Infectious Disease Clinic, where no security guards were stationed outside.

There, BIRN discovered rooms filled with visitors, some of whom told BIRN that they had not been tested for the coronavirus. Rooms with COVID-19 patients also contained relatives asleep next to them.

The leader of the ruling Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, Isa Mustafa, and the Central University Clinic of Kosovo, CUCK, reacted strongly on Wednesday, accusing BIRN Kosovo of gaining unauthorised entrance to the hospital.

Mustafa said COVID-19 patients were treated well in Pristina and regional hospitals and praise the work of healthcare staff. It was “a miracle” that despite the lack of facilities and human resources, the flow of patients was being managed, he added.

“When you speak to our doctors, they say they have had no private life for nine months. They have no time to take care of their own families. It is therefore low for someone from the media and the politics to try to undermine this titanic work,” Mustafa continued.

“They have no moral right, either, because some of them receive several times higher salaries than doctors, live freely, far from the responsibilities for the sick and their families – and dare to sow defeatism in the name of free speech.”

CUCK, in an earlier statement, accused BIRN Kosovo of entering the institution without official permission and without personal protective equipment, endangering their health of persons with whom they had contact and hindering the work of staff.

“Groundless allegations against health personnel were used during the ]BIRN TV] show, abusing the emotional state of people who lost their relatives in the fight against COVID-19,” CUCK claimed adding that “our institution was not given the opportunity to present the official version on all the issues raised, which is a principle of professional journalism”.

Answering CUCK’s statement, BIRN Kosovo requested an explanation on the disputed issues it had reported on in the Life in Kosovo show on Tuesday evening. However, no explanation had arrived by the time of publication.

EU Investigative Journalism Awards Announced in Bosnia

In an online event, the jury said all three stories from Bosnia are of utmost importance as “they point to many anomalies our society suffers, and that the government persistently ignores.”

The EU Awards for Investigative Journalism for Bosnia and Herzegovina were presented on Thursday in an online event on Zoom.

The three winners, who were awarded a total of 10,000 euros for the stories published over 2019, exposed links between the authorities and extremist groups, told a story about the robbery of a former state arms industry company and shed light on officials illegally appropriating the real estate of Sarajevo’s Jews, killed in the Holocaust.

The head of the EU delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Johan Sattler, said that “investigative journalism is necessary for a healthy democratic society,” and urged the Bosnian authorities to find systemic solutions to protect journalists from attacks and threats.

The jury was composed of jury head Zlatan Music, the OSCE Mission to BiH’s Media Freedom officer, Davor Glavas, a journalist and media expert, and Slavoljub Scekic, editor-in-chief of the Center for Investigative Reporting in Montenegro, CIN-CG.

They had a hard task choosing between 14 shortlisted applications. The jury said that all three stories had something in common, which is a “journalists’ complete commitment to the topic itself, which is reflected in the amount of details, data and information”.

“Each of them [the awarded investigations] is socially responsible and points to many anomalies that our society suffers, and the government persistently ignores,” Music told the online audience.

First prize went to Semir Mujkic from BIRN BiH, for a series of articles on Russian influence in the country presenting an original and comprehensive overview of pro-Russian actors, associations and groups and their local political supporters. Mujkic’s colleagues, Lamija Grebo and Emina Dizdarevic, contributed to the investigation.

Mujkic said that the EU award was very important as it is among only a few such awards in Bosnia, where the state itself does not attach importance to investigative journalism.

“Awards like this are not only a recognition but also an obligation for investigative journalists to continue their work,” Mujkic said.

In second place was Amarildo Gutic, of Zurnal, whose short documentary “Prsten oko Vitezita” peaked under the economic lid of the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, and the [Bosniak] Party of Democratic Action, SDA, over the past 25 years.

Azhar Kalamujic, from the Centre for investigative journalism BiH, won the third prize for his story on Sarajevo judges, lawyers and government officials who illegally appropriated abandoned apartments and houses in the Sarajevo that had belonged to Jews who perished in the Holocaust.

The EU awards have the overall goal of celebrating and promoting the outstanding achievements of investigative journalists from the Western Balkan countries and Turkey, as well as improving the visibility of quality investigative journalism in these countries among the public.

The prizes are awarded through the EU-funded project, “Strengthening Quality News and Independent Journalism in the Western Balkans and Turkey”, in 2019, 2020, 2021 in EU candidate and potential candidate countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey, for investigative stories published between 2018 and 2020. In total, 63 awards will be awarded through a three-year period.

The awards in Bosnia and Herzegovina are coordinated by Balkan Investigative Regional Reporting Network, BIRN Hub, which also runs a regional consortium.

BIRN Albania Faces Lawsuit from Politically Connected Businessman

Businessman Mirel Mertiri has started a lawsuit against BIRN Albania, seeking damages and the retraction of an investigation that revealed his links to politicians and lucrative Public Private Partnerships, PPS, for the construction of three waste incinerators in Albania.

Mertiri claims BIRN Albania’s reporting of his links to public contracts for waste treatment caused him “serious moral and existential damage”.

In the defamation lawsuit filed with the Tirana District Court, Mertiri requests the retraction of the article, “Politika pas plehrave: Kush është biznesmeni në hije i monopolit të inceneratorëve,” as well as 300,000 lek in damages, equal to 2,700 euros. [click here for English translation]

The article, by Aleksandra Bogdani and Besar Likmeta, was published on September 17  2020 and deals with Mertiri’s relationship with the former Minister of Finance and current Minister of Reconstruction, Arben Ahmetaj, as well as his close relationship to the shareholders and administrators of waste treatment companies that were awarded lucrative public contracts – his life partner, Stela Gugallja and a business associate, Klodian Zoto.

BIRN Albania stands the published story and says it is ready to face the claims brought by the plaintiff in court.

BIRN Albania’s Executive Director, Kristina Voko, said that “BIRN’s reporting is in the public interest and fulfils the highest ethical and professional standards, shedding light on concessionary contracts worth hundreds of millions of euros, which taxpayers’ money pays for.”

She added: “It is our assessment that this is a SLAPP Lawsuit (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation), which aims to intimidate and censor.

“We stand by the facts we published and will continue to publish journalism in the public interest, whether it is related to the incinerators or to any other concessionary business in Albania,” she concluded.

BIRN Albania and Together for Life Open Call for Investigations on Healthcare

The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Albania and the Tirana-based human rights organisation Together for Life launched a call for investigative stories on December 1, offering grants for five journalists to produce articles on the health sector.

The call is part of the project “Fighting Disinformation and Raising Transparency and Accountability in the Health Sector”, which is supported by the British Embassy in Tirana.

The goal of this project is to contribute to a transparent and accountable healthcare system, particularly in the way institutions and the government face up to the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the key objectives of this project is to raise transparency and accountability in the health sector by raising the capacities of civil society, journalists and independent media.

The call is based on topics suggested by civil society activists and journalists during a joint workshop held on November 24 via online platforms.  The workshop was attended by two dozen civil society activists and journalists, who debated about how to better cover the healthcare sector, particularly now in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The journalists will have around three months to dig deeper and research their ideas, and will also have the opportunity to work with experienced editors as mentors to guide them through the process of writing in accordance with BIRN standards.

The call only applies to journalists from Albania and closes on December 15.

Click here for more information (in Albanian) about the application procedure.

Click here to download the application (in Albanian).

BIRN Kosovo Holds Debate on Audit Report in Rahovec/ Orahovac

On Monday November 30, BIRN Kosovo held the fourth of its series of debates discussing the findings of its audit monitoring project, which analyses reports on Kosovo’s municipalities published by the National Audit Office, NAO. The debate was held in the municipality of Rahovec/Orahovac.

The results of BIRN’s monitoring and analysis were published and discussed in an open debate. Due to the circumstances caused by COVID-19, the debate was followed by a limited number of participants from the municipality, the National Audit Office and civil society organisations. The debate was also streamed live on BIRN’s anti-corruption platform KALLXO.com.

KALLXO.com’s Managing Editor, Visar Prebreza, gave a brief presentation on the project and its findings, stating that there progress was made at the Municipality of Rahovec/Orahovac in terms of implementing the NAO’s recommendations, especially compared to the 2018 audit report. However, there were still weaknesses found, mainly in the field of procurement.

According to Smajl Latifi, the Mayor of Rahovec/Orahovac, weaknesses in procurement will not be found in the Audit report for 2020. “We have made an action plan for the implementation of the recommendations, and a working group,” Latifi said.

Meanwhile, Bujar Bajraktari, from the National Audit Office, stated that the Municipality of Rahovec/Orahovac had made progress in implementing recommendations and the focus should now be on asset management, specifically creating an asset register and inventory, among other things.

“Comparing financial reports over the years, it can be seen that the Municipality of Rahovec has shown improvement,” he said. “However, in important areas, such as in the field of procurement, there are still findings to be addressed and the focus should be there. Asset management activities should also be improved, as there are some findings that have been presented for years, including asset management, establishing an asset register, inventory, etc.”

In terms of the implementation of recommendations, Bajraktari said that out of 17 recommendations provided last year, only seven have been fully implemented, while one has been partially implemented, four have not been implemented and five are considered closed.

Alongside providing an avenue to discuss the implementation of recommendations by the NAO, these debates also give BIRN the opportunity to record promises made both by National Audit Office officials and the Municipality of Rahovec, which can later be followed up through KALLXO.com’s fact-checking platform, Krypometer.

The debate was organised within the framework of the Supporting Civil Society to Increase Public Oversight and Accountability of Kosovo Public Institutions project, which is funded by the British Embassy in Pristina. This specific activity is organised as a part of the component looking into the compliance of targeted institutions with recommendations from the Auditor General’s reports.

Similar debates will be held in municipalities across Kosovo, with the aim of presenting BIRN Kosovo’s analysis of the progress made in implementing recommendations made by the Auditor. Every debate will be live streamed by BIRN Kosovo.

BIRN Probe Exposed Corruption in Kosovo’s Private Solar Power Incentives

On April 30, 2020, BIRN Kosovo broadcast a debate on its “Life in Kosovo” show – on its in-depth investigation, conducted by BIRN Kosovo country director Jeta Xharra and Visar Prebreza, an editor at BIRN.

The investigation, titled “Unclean Energy: The Kosovar who would own the sun”, revealed that the near monopoly of a single company on clean energy had violated Kosovo’s anti-monopoly rules.

Blerim Devolli, a businessman in Kosovo behind six companies, stood to gain millions of euros from state-funded incentives in the solar power field.

The rules in Kosovo stipulate that no single investor can produce more than three megawatts, MW, of solar energy.

But the BIRN probe revealed that Devolli stood behind no less than six other companies awarded rights to produce a total of 16.7 MW – more than half of Kosovo’s total solar power production.

Each of these companies would receive a guaranteed price from the state between two and three times higher than the market price.

The decision was made possible thanks to the Energy Regulatory Office, ERO.

But BIRN had uncovered also that an ERO board member, Selman Hoti, had lobbied persistently for these tariffs, and was also a shareholder of an energy company, Electra, which was contracted to install cables at Devolli’s solar park, launched in October 2018.

Electra received the contract before Hoti was appointed to the board of the ERO in March 2018.

After BIRN broadcast the program, Kosovo’s Anti-Corruption Agency began to investigate whether Hoti’s involvement in the scheme constituted a conflict of interest.

After its investigation, BIRN Kosovo sent questions to the Kosovo Competition Authority, KCA, asking whether the rules of open competition had been broken with the setting of the incentive tariffs for an additional 20 MW.

On May 5, 2020, the KCA informed BIRN Kosovo that an investigation had now begun, along with an analysis of the energy market, the second impact of this investigation.

The State Aid Commission, SAC, has also started procedures against ERO decision to set an additional 20 MWs incentive tariff for solar energy – another result of the BIRN investigation.

According the SAC, at its regular meeting, it urged the State Aid Department, DNSH, in the Ministry of Finance and Transfers to ask the ERO to submit all data on the decision on the incentive tariff for the production of 20 additional MWs of solar energy.

The SAC also expressed concern about the evasion of legal obligations by the ERO with the decision it took, and underlined that under Article 11 (1) of the Law on State Aid the aid measure subject to this decision was illegal, as the ERO had not notified the mandated authorities to ascertain compliance with the law.

On May 14, BIRN Kosovo published an article informing readers that, since its investigation, the State Prosecutor had announced that the Special Prosecution would investigate the ERO decision.

On May 19, 2020, the BIRN investigation was discussed at the Commission for Economy, Employment, Trade, Industry, Entrepreneurship and Strategic Investments in the Kosovo Assembly. As a result, an MP, Mimoza Kusari, had said a parliamentary commission of inquiry should be established.

On May 26, 2020, BIRN Kosovo published an article on how Kosovo’s biggest party, Vetevendosje, was demanding a commission of inquiry into the board of ERO, focusing on the issue of solar energy monopolies in Kosovo.

The biggest result of all of this investigation came on November 27, when the SAC deemed the ERO decision that had allowed companies to benefit from state-funded incentive tariffs in solar energy illegal. That decision obliged ERO to halt further implementation of the scheme.

Lastly, in November, the BIRN team was awarded the 2020 Prize for Economic Journalism awarded by the Association of Journalists of Kosovo.

UNICEF Awards BIRN BiH Journalist for Contribution to Children’s Rights

Azra Husaric, a journalist with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Bosnia and Herzegovina, BIRN BiH, has received UNICEF’s award for contribution to the promotion and protection of children’s rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the “Internet Work” category for her story on the challenges facing children with developmental difficulties and their parents in online classes during the current pandemic.

The awards were given to journalists on the occasion marking World Children’s Day on November 20 at a ceremony held online this year.

Her article titled “Parents Bear Biggest Burden of Online Classes for Children with Developmental Difficulties” told of a boy with Downs syndrome, Harun Tanovic, who did not have a teaching assistant for several months after the start of the school year.

The six-member jury awarded this article in the “Internet Work” category.

“We really had several works worthy of receiving the award, but the one that stands out as the most complete one, encompassing several angles, is the story about Harun, a boy with Downs syndrome, and problems he and his family are facing in the educational system during the pandemic,” jury member Katarina Marjanovic said during the awards ceremony.

Besides problems caused by delays in assigning him a teaching assistant while following the online classes, Harun did not have adjusted lessons, so his parents had to take the burden of this on themselves.

“Journalist Azra Husaric spent several days of online classes with the boy who says: ‘I can do everything on my own, I don’t need anybody’. This resulted in a truly engaging story about the fight for the rights advocated for by UNICEF. So, we, as the jury, recognized and selected this article worthy of this award,” Marjanovic said.

UNICEF in Bosnia also awarded media professionals for their contribution to children’s rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the “Television” category, awarding TV N1 reporter Ivana Eric. In the “Blog” category an award was given to journalist Natasa Lazukic. A special award for media contribution to the promotion and protection of children’s rights was given to Otisak portal journalist Zeljko Lazarevic.

This year’s jury, consisting of Zoran Catic, Nineta Popović, Sandra Gojkovic Arbutina, Katarina Marijanovic, Lamija Silajdzic and Benjamin Omerbegovic, also commended Amina Bijelonja and Tahir Zustra for a TV footage, Hana Kazazovic, Brankica Smiljanic, Ivona Grgic, Ilma Kurtovic and Nejra Dzananovic for blogs, and Snjezana Anicic and Anamarija Zadro for internet work, for their contribution in the media to the promotion and protection of children’s rights.

To show support for World Children’s Day the city of Banja Luka and the city of Mostar will “paint” their best known landmarks, namely the Banski Dvor and the Old Bridge, in blue on Friday night. Sarajevo city centre will also be lit up in blue.

UNICEF representative in Bosnia Rownak Khan said during the ceremony to mark World Children’s Day that the pandemic had had a particularly heavy impact on children and their education.

“In tandem, we must do more to ensure that all children have equal access to quality learning. Governments must prioritize keeping schools open and safe for students, teachers and parents. This needs to go hand in hand with improving online learning options, ensuring equal opportunities for marginalized children. As parents worldwide struggle to maintain their livelihoods, governments must scale up social protection measures through programmes and policies that provide life-saving cash benefits, health care, nutrition and education for families,” Khan said.

BIRN Kosovo Announces Tender to Produce Documentary on Sustainable Development in Kosovo

BIRN Kosovo, within the “Europeanization of Kosovo’s Environmental Agenda”, an EU-funded project, is opening a tender call for proposals for the production of an up-to-60-minute documentary on sustainable development in Kosovo.

BIRN Kosovo, within the “Europeanization of Kosovo’s Environmental Agenda”, an EU-funded project, is opening a tender call for proposals for the production of an up-to-60-minute documentary on sustainable development in Kosovo.

The documentary will serve to raise public awareness and inform citizens of the damage being done to the environment in Kosovo.

The main objective of this tender call is to contract a professional production company in Kosovo to produce an up-to-60-minute follow-up to “Kingdom of Coal”, the BIRN documentary that won Best Green Doc award at Dokufest, Prizren, back in 2011.

This documentary will draw on information acquired from citizens most affected by environmental degradation, as well as local communities, civil society organisations, environmental activists, public officials, relevant ministries and other relevant public institutions, energy and environmental experts, health experts, journalists, professors of environmental engineering, energy efficiency and climate change, international health and environment organisations, as well as EU experts and other international donors that have contributed to the protection of environment in Kosovo and to raising awareness on the importance of healthy and sustainable environment.

This activity will be implemented in 2021.

 Applications should be addressed to: diellza.salihu@birn.eu.com  with the subject line “Tender Call Application with Ref. no: 2020/01 – Documentary Production – [NAME OF THE APPLICANT]”, by December 15, 2020, at 23:59, at the latest.

*A maximum of 30,000 euros will be offered for the production of the documentary.

For more information, instructions and the application form, click the links below for:

This tender call for applications is open within the project “Europeanization of Kosovo’s Environmental Agenda”. The project is supported by the European Union Office in Kosovo and implemented by BIRN Kosovo, TV Mreža, ERA Group, and Bankwatch.

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BIRN Kosova shpall tender për prodhimin e dokumentarit për zhvillimin e qëndrueshëm në Kosovë

BIRN Kosova, në kuadër të projektit të financuar nga Bashkimi Evropian “Europeanization of Kosovo’s Environmental Agenda”, shpall tender për prodhimin e një dokumentari deri në 60 minuta për zhvillimin e qëndrueshëm në Kosovë.

Ky dokumentar ka për qëllim të rrisë vetëdijen dhe t’i informojë qytetarët rreth dëmit që po i bëhet ambientit në Kosovë.

Objektivi kryesor i këtij tenderi është të kontraktohet një kompani profesionale në Kosovë për prodhimin e dokumentarit deri në 60 minuta. Ky dokumentar do të jetë pasues i dokumentarit të BIRN-it “Mbretëria e Qymyrit” që ka fituar çmimin “Best Green Documentary” në festivalin DokuFest në Prizren, në vitin 2011.

Ky dokumentar do të shfrytëzojë informacione të nxjerra nga qytetarët e ndikuar nga degradimi i ambientit, komunitetet lokale, organizatat e shoqërisë civile, aktivistë të ambientit, zyrtarë publikë, ministri dhe institucione të tjera relevante, profesorë të inxhinierisë së ambientit, efiçiencës së energjisë dhe ndryshimeve klimatike, organizata ndërkombëtare të shëndetit dhe ambientit si dhe ekspertë nga Bashkimi Evropian dhe donatorë ndërkombëtarë që kanë kontribuar në mbrojtjen e mjedisit në Kosovë.

Ky aktivitet do të implementohet në vitin 2021.

Aplikimet duhet të dorëzohen te  diellza.salihu@birn.eu.com, me subjektin “Aplikime për tender me numër të referencës 2020/01 – Prodhim Dokumentari – [EMRI I APLIKUESIT], më së largu deri më 15/12/2020, 23:59.

 *Shuma maksimale që do të ofrohet për prodhimin e dokumentarit është 30,000 EUR.

Për të marrë më shumë informata, udhëzime dhe shkarkuar formën e aplikacionit klikoni në linqet më poshtë:

Ky tender është hapur përmes projektit “Europeanization of Kosovo’s Environmental Agenda”. Ky projekt mbështetet nga Zyra e Bashkimit Europian në Kosovë dhe implementohet nga BIRN Kosova, TV Mrezha, ERA Group dhe Bankwatch.

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BIRN Kosovo raspisuje tender za proizvodnju dokumentarnog filma o održivom razvoju na Kosovu

BIRN Kosovo, u okviru projekta „Evropeizacija kosovske agende za zaštitu životne sredine“, koji finansira EU, otvara tenderski poziv za podnošenje predloga za proizvodnju dokumentarnog filma u trajanju od najviše 60 minuta na temu održivog razvoja na Kosovu.

Dokumentarac će poslužiti za podizanje svesti javnosti i informisanje građana o šteti kojoj je izložena životna sredina na Kosovu.

Glavni cilj ovog tenderskog poziva je da se angažuje profesionalna produkcijska kompanija na Kosovu koja će proizvesti dokumentarni film u trajanju do 60 minuta. Dokumentarni film mora biti nastavak dokumentarnog filma BIRN-a „Kraljevstvo uglja”, koji je osvojio nagradu za najbolji zeleni dokumentarac na Dokufestu u Prizrenu 2011. godine.

Ovaj dokumentarni film zasnivaće se na informacijama dobijenim od građana pogođenih degradiranjem životne sredine, lokalnih zajednica, organizacija civilnog društva, ekoloških aktivista, javnih zvaničnika, relevantnih ministarstava i drugih relevantnih javnih institucija, stručnjaka za energetiku i životnu sredinu, zdravstvenih stručnjaka, novinara, profesora inženjerstva zaštite životne sredine, energetske efikasnosti i klimatskih promena, međunarodnih zdravstvenih i ekoloških organizacija, kao i stručnjaka EU i drugih međunarodnih donatora koji su doprineli zaštiti životne sredine na Kosovu, sa namerom da podigne svest šire javnosti o značaju zdrave i održive životne sredine.

Ova aktivnost biće realizovana 2021. godine.

Prijave pošaljite elektronskom poštom na adresu  diellza.salihu@birn.eu.com  i u predmetu stavite naznaku „Poziv za prijavljivanje na tender pod ref. br: 2020/01 – Proizvodnja dokumentarca – [NAZIV PODNOSIOCA PRIJAVE]”, najkasnije do 15. 12. 2020. 23.59 časova.

*Maksimalni iznos ponuđen za produkciju dokumentarnog filma je EUR 30,000.

Za podrobnije informacije, uputstva i prijavni obrazac, kliknite na linkove u nastavku:

Ovaj poziv za prijavljivanje na tender otvoren je u okviru projekta „Evropeizacija kosovske agende za zaštitu životne sredine“. Ovaj projekat omogućen je podrškom Kancelarije Evropske unije na Kosovu a realizuju ga BIRN Kosovo, TV Mreža, ERA Group, i Bankwatch.

BIRN Kosovo Journalists Awarded with the 2020 Prize for Economic Journalism

BIRN Kosovo journalists awarded with the 2020 Prize for Economic Journalism.

“Unclean Energy: The Kosovar who would Own the Sun” is the 2020 award winner of the annual” Ibrahim Rexhepi” Prize for Economic Journalism, awarded by the Association of Journalists of Kosovo (AJK).

This in-depth investigation by Visar Prebreza and Jeta Xharra discovered how a single businessman in Kosovo stands behind six companies reaping millions of euros from the sale of solar energy in violation of anti-monopoly rules.

The investigation was conducted while Pristina was under measures of quarantine due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Receiving the award, Visar Prebreza who co-authored the investigation said that the investigation was conducted before and after the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We worked in a time when Pristina was under quarantine and we worked until late nights to analyse documents.”

“We have investigated even in Malta to expose the hiding of businesses there,” Prebreza said after receiving the award from the head of AJK, Gentiana Begolli.

BIRN Kosovo Trains Auditors in Communications, Writing Techniques and Social Media

BIRN Kosovo held a training session with the staff of the National Audit Office on November 19, within the framework of the project, “Promoting the Auditor General/National Audit Office’s role in Kosovo”.

Supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Pristina, the training courses are intended to improve the performance of the Auditor General and National Audit Office staff in writing, reporting and providing information on public spending.

The training session was attended by around 30 participants from the National Audit Office. It was divided into two sessions with the first being held by Kreshnik Gashi, managing editor at Kallxo.com, and the second by Granit Mavriqi, media editor at Kallxo.com.

Gashi explained the fundamental elements of writing an article, a news story or a status and how it should be presented on and through social media. Following this, Mavriqi provided information on social media use and security.