Wed, 01 Apr 2020

The Kosovo Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court's ruling to sentence the head of the country's soccer governing body to nine months in prison in a case dating back to 2012.

A lower court in Pristina, the capital, issued the verdict in July to Agim Ademi, 58, president of the Kosovo Soccer Federation.

A friend of his, Muharrem Rama, received a one-year prison sentence.

Both were accused of forcing a business associate in July 2012 to pay 30,000 euros ($32,600) -- or a BMW X5 luxury vehicle -- to a city official in Pristina in exchange for falsified documents relating to a real estate transaction.

In a news release, the appeals court said on February 26 that it "rejected as unfounded the complaints of the basic prosecution in Pristina and the defense councils in the case of the accused AA and MR."

The charges both faced were for attempted coercion and the indictment was filed on January 14, 2014.

Ademi took over the soccer federation in July 2018 after the death of his predecessor Fadil Vokrri. He had previously served as vice president since 2000.

Kosovo plays North Macedonia next month in the first round of the playoffs for this year's European soccer championship.

Based on reporting by AP

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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