In the best journalists’ awards for reporting on combating and preventing corruption in Kosovo, the Association of Professional Journalists of Kosovo and Anti-Corruption Agency, gave first prizes to three BIRN reporters.
Alban Selimi won first prize for television investigative journalism with his investigative report into a lawyer and judge in Klina who forged documents to make an illegal profit of 16,800 euro. “This award has a special significance, since it is the official revelation of corruption as an enemy,” Selimi said.
“This is an appreciation of my work and the work of my BIRN colleagues who remain dedicated to the elimination of corruption and other negative phenomena in Kosovo,” he added.
Lawrence Marzouk and Petrit Collaku won first prize for written investigative journalism, with their investigative report published in Prishtina Insight, a publication of BIRN.
The winning report concerned misuse of government tenders for roads in Kosovo and allegations of corruption in the Kosovo’s Ministry of Transport and Communications.
“This took several months of work into documents and tenders about road building in Kosovo and our findings were really worrying,” Collaku said.
“This ministry was mostly investigated because it had the largest budget, from which lots of friends and relatives of the Minister of Transport, Fatmir Limaj, won tenders that cost several millions,” he added.
“The story has shown that the problem with tenders issued by the government continues to be a very serious one,” he continued.
This is the fourth year that BIRN has won major prizes for investigative journalism in Kosovo.
The winners said they hoped the prizes would encourage journalists to continue reporting cases of corruption, abuse of official positions, misuse of taxpayers’ money and provision of substandard public services for citizens of Kosovo.