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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Jackson

Judicial corruption in Kosovo: Whistleblower settles with FCDO for over £400k

Barrister Maria Bamieh has agreed a settlement of over £400,000 after being dismissed by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in 2014. Ms Bamieh raised serious concerns about judicial corruption while working as an international prosecutor for EULEX. She escalated her concerns on numerous occasions, including to the EULEX Head of Justice in a written report in June 2012 as well as to the UK Ambassador but felt unsupported by the FCDO when nothing was subsequently done.

In 2013 Ms Bamieh faced disciplinary action for car parking violations and lodged a grievance alleging victimisation for whistleblowing copied to the FCDO, who refused to intervene and enforced the warning sanction. In June 2014 the FCDO decided to reduce the number of EULEX prosecutors, including Ms Bamieh who despite being one of the most experienced and respected, was shortlisted for removal. When challenged, the FCDO issued notice of removal to the entire group of prosecutors who then had to be reselected to remain in EULEX. The Panel was overseen by those with close connections to those whom the corruption complaints had been made about in 2012 and Ms Bamieh was served notice of termination from November 2014.

When in October 2014 the corruption complaints were reported in Kosovan media, Ms Bamieh was suspended as the suspected source.

Ms Bamieh lodged her Employment Tribunal claim against the FCDO, EULEX and individual respondents employed by EULEX. After appeals to the EAT and Court of Appeal Ms Bamieh was left with the FCDO as sole respondent. The claims were due to be held at an 11 day hearing in May and June this year but proceedings were settled without admission of liability for a gross payment of £422,921.14.

If you have raised concerns at work or are looking for advice on how to manage concerns raised, please get in touch with CSJ Legal on 07842332468.

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