BIRN’s Impact – 2015

The social and political impact of BIRN’s reporting throughout the year.

Kosovo – Officials sanctioned

Because of investigations in 2015 by BIRN Kosovo’s flagship TV programmes Life in Kosovo and Justice in Kosovo, one official was dismissed, one suspended, three resigned, three investigations were initiated, one official warning was sent by the prosecution service, and one contract was annulled.

For example, BIRN Kosovo’s report on how the prime minister’s son won a tender from his father’s office to fix the PM’s car was quoted in Reuters and other international media, prompting the son to give up the contract.

In August 2015, Gazeta Jeta ne Kosove, BIRN Kosovo’s website, revealed that the PM’s office had awarded a contract to a company owned by the PM’s sons, to service their father’s official vehicle.


More about this case:

Kosovo PM Cancels Tender For His Sons

Public Procurement Monitoring Report

Isa Mustafa: Kam Nevojë për Pare të Madhe, Jo 2900 Euro [in Albanian]

Montenegro – PM accused

Following an investigation produced as part of the Paper Trail for Better Governance programme – a joint BIRN Hub and BIRN Kosovo project – into the privatisation of MDI, Montenegro’s largest arms exporter, an anti-corruption watchdog from Montenegro filed criminal charges against Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic.

More about this case:

Drugs, Diamonds and Bullets: Balkan Arms Firm Linked to Criminal Investigations

Austria -An offshore company suspected of  bribing

Austrian prosecutors reviewed evidence uncovered by BIRN’s investigative journalism project Paper Trail for Better Governance about an offshore company suspected of being involved in bribing an Albanian official at the now bankrupt Austrian construction company Alpine Bau.

More about this case:

Alpine Bau’s Balkan Black Hole

Alpine Bau and ‘the Balkan family’

Albania  – Criminal candidates

An investigation published by BIRN Albania on the eve of local elections in June 2015 brought to light the fact that some mayoral candidates had criminal records in EU member states. The report pushed the government and the opposition to agree on the so-called law on decriminalisation, which was passed by the Albanian parliament in December 2015. The law bans the election or appointment to public office of people with a serious criminal background. Elvis Rroshi, former mayor of Kavaja, a town in central Albania, resigned in May 2016 after admitting to having been convicted in Italy – the first major casualty of the decriminalisation law. The mayor was arrested in June 2016 for using forged documentation to hide past criminal convictions.

In July 2018, Rroshi was sentenced to 60 hours of labour.

Since this case, dozens of MPs and other officials left their posts due to the decriminalisation law.

More about this case:

Albania Mayor ‘Forgets’ Crime Charges in Germany

Albanian Mayor Resigns After Admitting Criminal Past

Albania: Accusations Fly Following Mayor’s Resignation

Arrestohet Elvis Rroshi, fshehu dënimin në Itali dhe dy dëbime nga Zvicra [in Albanian]

Criminal Pasts of Albanian Election Candidates Exposed

Falsifikoi formularin e dekriminalizimit, Rroshi dënohet me 60 orë punë të detyruar[in Albanian]