Fugitives Change Their Names

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On June 30, Justice in Kosovo discussed the fugitives that changed their names.

The following questions were asked: How were two people that are wanted by Interpol able to change their first and last names? Did they change their names to escape prosecution? What do the officials in charge have to say? What measures have been taken to prevent this from happening again? Who did the police catch? How did the suspects manage to change their names at the Municipality of Prishtina?

Enver Aliu, a suspect involved with contraband containing narcotic substances, has successfully changed his identity in the Municipality of Vitia. Interpol is seeking his arrest. Aliu changed his name even though those under legal investigation cannot change their name or surname. His new identity card released on the May 11, 2012, states that Enver Aliu is now Mehmet Mjaku.

Aliu had no right to change his identity under legal investigation. In 2008, the law for personal names was enforced and states that individuals who want to change his or her name or surname should not be linked to a legal investigation:

“This person is known to the anti-narcotics unit and there is data, which shows that this person is involved in activities that have to do with the narcotics market,” said the spokesperson of the Ministry for Internal Affairs, Ivo Kotovski.

To verify if Enver Aliu and Mehmet Mjaku are the same person, Justice in Kosovo checked the personal number of both persons and they both had the same ID number. The Police of Kosovo also confirmed that it is the same person: “The person that you are referring to is wanted by the Macedonian authorities,” said Baki Kelani, a spokesperson for the Police of Kosovo.

After Aliu changed his identity, the Police of Kosovo could not find him, and neither could Interpol. Even those living in the Dobresh village, where Aliu previously lived, do not know Aliu or Mjaku.

The Municipality Administration Sector of Vitia with the decision number 03-201/245/2012 approved Aliu’s request, even though there is an international arrest warrant: “We have requested data from the Court of Vitia who verifies that this person has no penal precedent,” said the Head of Administration in Vitia, Besim Halimi.

The officials in the Municipality of Vitia say that they went through all the legal procedures.

Skender Shefkiu, the director of Basic Court in Vitia, said that in court there are no data for persons who are wanted by Interpol and this is the reason why Aliu has been endowed with evidence that he is not under investigation.

Aliu is not the only one who has changed his or her name under investigation. A similar case was found in the Municipality of Rahovec where Muharrem Mazreku changed his name to Ilir Berisha. The Police of Kosovo declared that Switzerland released an international search warrant for Mazreku.

In these cases, changing identities happened because the municipality procedures for the change of identity did not require police certification.

For this reason, the Ministry of Internal Affairs decided in July 2012 that the municipality requires that the Kosovo Police provides them with evidence before identities are changed.

According to municipality officials, the new procedure created conditions that denied some individuals the applications to change his or her identity. The Head of Administration in the municipality of Rahovec, Samir Mustafa says that there have been two cases were individuals were denied the right to change his or her identity.