Kosovo court sentences German to jail in 'passport case'

SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Kosovo's highest court sentenced a German woman, who has been on trial since 2012, to 12 years in prison and ordered her to pay a $30,000 fine in the infamous "passport case" Thursday.

Natali Veliaj, the owner of a number of consulting firms, and her deputy, Fisnik Blakaj, were detained by EU police in Kosovo for allegedly embezzling money that was supposed to be transferred to an Australian biometric passport production firm from Kosovo's Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The supreme court sentenced Blakaj to 11 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.

It also ordered the repayment of the embezzled money, $1.72 million, to victim institutions.

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