Kosovo President, Hashim Thaci, has contracted a US company aimed at improving his image internationally. According to Kosovo news outlet Insajderi the President’s Office confirmed the contract on the night Kosovo MPs launched an unexpected initiative to undo The Hague based international war crimes court. Thaci’s name is mentioned as one of the potential inditctees of this Court, which has been established to investigate and try alleged crimes committed by the KLA. During the Kosovo war in 1998-99 Thaci was political representative of the Kosovo Albanian rebel army which fought against Serbian military and police forces.
According to Insajderi on the night of 22 December, when the Kosovo top leaders – President Thaci, Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj and Speaker of Assembly Kadri Veseli, launched the initiative through ruling coalition MPs to repeal the Law on Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecution Office, the President’s Office made an unusual move. An announcement of Thaci’s Office published at the website of the Public Procurement Regulatory Commission, shows that the President’s Office has agreed awarding a half a million contract to the US company Ballard Partners which is headed by Brian Ballard, a lobbyist with close ties to the US President, Donald trump. According to the President’s Office, the contract between the state of Kosovo and Brian Ballard’s company weights 517,189 euro. The company is obliged to offer consultancy services for the Kosovo President’s Office. In the announcement it is specified that the parties are expected to sign the contract on 15 January 2018. Ballard Partners is based in Florida and its president is one of the closest allies of the US President Donald Trump.