Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Ramë Maraj’s institute ‘visited’ by the police

All daily newspapers report on the front pages that Italian Carabinieri and UNMIK Police yesterday raided the premises of the Institute for Researching Public Opinion and Strategies (IHPSO). The institute is led by Ramë Maraj, security advisor to President Ibrahim Rugova.

Zëri writes that Maraj himself has confirmed the raid and said that nothing illegal has been found. According to the paper the police have been seen as taking with them documents and computers from the Institute.

In its coverage, Koha Ditore says that IHPSO and Maraj were recently accused by the Kosovo Democratic Party (PDK) of being an intelligence engaged in the surveillance of political and public figures in Kosovo and as a vanguard of the organization Homeland Security, which threatened several Kosovo political leaders in its press statements.

The paper also says that the PDK has in the meantime submitted a 488-page file to UNMIK, allegedly prepared by Homeland Security, which contains information on meetings, conversations and activities of senior Kosovo officials. The police have received the file but so far haven’t claimed that Maraj is connected to Homeland Security.

Epoka e Re reports on the front page that the raid marks the first serious movement of the police in the course of investigations. The paper also recalls that ‘as a result of the authentic document submitted by PDK’, police had earlier raided the Presidency of Kosovo.

Epoka e Re notes that ‘in the eyes of the opposition, the IHPSO is seen as the bastion of the organization Homeland Security’. Police sources told the paper that the police operation was very confidential and that only some UNMIK officials were aware of it. A police source reportedly told the paper that Maraj is entitled to attorney privileges, ‘which implies that international officers will interrogate Maraj’.

Epoka e Re also criticizes the public broadcaster the Radio Television of Kosovo for not reporting on the raid at IHPSO premises.

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