Man avoids going to jail in Serbia, becomes judge in Kosovo

Radomir Laban, who escaped central Serbia to avoid going to jail on a corruption conviction, has been named a judge of the Kosovo Constitutional Court.

Source: B92, Tanjug
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Laban is seen in the middle (Photo: http://www.president-ksgov.net)
Laban is seen in the middle (Photo: http://www.president-ksgov.net)

The appointment was made by Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, whose cabinet published a photograph, showing Laban and other judges take their oath of office.

"He is still a wanted person by Belgrade authorities. There is an Interpol red notice warrant and if he goes outside the country his name will appear at any airport," Reuters is reporting, quoting "a senior police source."

The agency further noted that Laban, described as "ethnic Serb", is taking one of the spots set aside for "minorities," while his nomination came from "ethnic Serb lawmakers" and approved by by the Kosovo Assembly in May - "but Thaci was urged by the opposition and a justice watchdog not to appoint him before all the security checks were done."

According to Serbian court records, Laban, a former customs official, was found guilty and convicted to six years in prison in 2011 on corruption charges, and served half this sentence while in detention before the trial.

Laban was provisionally released after the trial, but he then escaped and became a fugitive in Kosovo. "Last year, a Serbian court in the town of Kraljevo issued an arrest warrant demanding he be handed back to Serbia," Reuters said.

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