Thursday, December 20, 2007

Kosovo: Deputy chief administrator resigns under a cloud

Pristina, 19 Dec. (AKI) – Deputy chief of the United Nations administration in Serbia’s breakaway Kosovo province, Steven Shuck, who is being probed for corruption and 'unprofessional behaviour' has stepped down from his post, local media reported on Wednesday.

Shuck, a retired American general, is being investigated by the UN internal commission over his alleged ties with some Kosovo businessmen, politicians and sexual relations with UN staff as well as two ethnic Albanian popstars, the reports said.

His UN contract with the UN expires on 31 December, but an unnamed UN official said Shuck left Pristina (photo) on Tuesday after being informed that the contract would not be renewed. The official declined to comment further, saying it would be detrimental to the ongoing investigation.

Shuck admitted last September that he was probed for wrongdoing, but claimed the accusations against him were unjustified. Some UN staffers had accused Shuck of arrogant behaviour.

Shuck is also alleged to have kept close ties with former Kosovo prime minister Ramush Haradinaj, who is currently on trial for war crimes against Serb and ethnic Albanian civilians at the UN's Hague-based warcrimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Haradinaj was a commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in western Kosovo during 1998-99 ethnic Albanian rebellion against Serbian rule when the alleged crimes were committed.

The investigation also focuses on Shuck's suspicious dealings with Kosovo energy minister Ethem Ceku in connection with a multimillion dollar project to build electric power plants in Kosovo, media reports said.

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