During the period covered by the indictment, Hysni Gucati was Chairman of the Kosovo Liberation Army War Veterans Association.
During the period covered by the indictment, Nasim Haradinaj was Deputy Chairman of the Kosovo Liberation Army War Veterans’ Association.
The initial indictment against the two accused was confirmed on 11 December 2020 and made public on 14 December 2020. On 23 June 2021, the Court of Appeals Panel granted, in part, the appeals by Gucati and Haradinaj in relation to alleged defects in the form of the indictment and ordered that a corrected version of the indictment be filed by the SPO. The corrected indictment was filed on 5 July 2021 and the lesser redacted indictment was filed on 4 October 2021. This was the operative indictment in this case.
Summary of charges
The indictment states that between at least 7 and 25 September 2020, on the occasion of three press conferences and other broadcasted events, as well as through further dissemination, Gucati and Haradinaj revealed, without authorisation, information protected under the law of the Specialist Chambers, including the identifying details of certain (potential) witnesses. Gucati and Haradinaj also made disparaging accusations and remarks against (potential) witnesses and repeatedly expressed their intention to undermine the Specialist Chambers.
The charges are the following:
TWO COUNTS OF CRIMINAL OFFENCES AGAINST PUBLIC ORDER
- Obstructing official persons in performing official duties (Count 1 and Count 2)
FOUR COUNTS OF CRIMINAL OFFENCES AGAINST THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
- Intimidation during criminal proceedings (Count 3)
- Retaliation (Count 4)
- Violating secrecy of proceedings (Count 5 and Count 6)
Pre-trial/Trial (Case number KSC-BC-2020-07)
Hysni Gucati and Nasim Haradinaj were arrested in Prishtinë/Priština, Kosovo, on 25 September 2020 and transferred to the KSC Detention Unit on 25 and 26 September, respectively.
Haradinaj’s and Gucati’s first appearances as suspects before the Single Judge, Nicolas Guillou, were held on 29 September 2020 and 1 October 2020, respectively.
On 11 December 2020, Pre-Trial Judge, Nicolas Guillou, confirmed the indictment against the two accused.
Gucati’s and Haradinaj’s initial appearances took place on 18 December 2020 before the Pre-Trial Judge, Nicolas Guillou. Gucati pleaded not guilty to all counts of the indictment whereas Haradinaj chose to enter his plea within 30 days. During his further appearance on 8 January 2021, Haradinaj failed to enter a plea. Accordingly, pursuant to Rule 92(2)(f) of the Rules, the Pre-Trial Judge entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf.
On 27 August 2021, the Specialist Prosecutor's Office filed a public redacted version of its pre-trial brief. The Gucati Defence did the same on 2 September whereas the Haradinaj’s Defence filed an "interim" pre-trial brief on 12 July 2021.
On 16 July 2021, the Pre-Trial Judge transmitted the case file to Trial Panel II.
The trial preparation conference in this case was held on 1 and 2 September, followed by the SPO preparation conference on 8 September 2021.
The trial commenced on 7 October 2021. On 10 November 2021, the SPO closed its case.
On 26 November 2021, the Panel denied the motions, filed by both Defence teams, to dismiss the charges against the accused pursuant to Rule 130 of the KSC Rules of Procedure and Evidence. The Defence preparation conference was held on 2 December and the Gucati’s Defence case commenced on 3 December 2021, followed by the Haradinaj’s case on 15 December 2021. Both Defence teams closed their cases on 2 February 2022.
The evidentiary proceedings in this case were closed on 3 February 2022. The SPO and the Haradinaj Defence filed its final trial brief on 3 March 2022, followed by the Gucati Defence on 4 March. On 16 March, the Panel reopened the proceedings for the sole purpose of admitting certain witness statements, filed by the Defence, related to sentencing. The closing statements took place from 14 until 17 March 2022.
The trial judgment was pronounced on 18 May 2022: The Panel found both accused guilty of obstructing official persons in performing official duties, intimidation during criminal proceedings and violating the secrecy of proceedings and sentenced each Accused to four and a half years’ imprisonment, with credit for time already served, and a fine of 100 EUR each.
|Trial Panel composition||Judges Charles Smith III (Presiding), Christoph Barthe, Guénaël Mettraux, Fergal Gaynor (Reserve judge)|
|Specialist Prosecutor's Office||Valeria Bolici, Matthew Halling, James Pace|
|Defence Counsel||Gucati: Jonathan Elystan Rees (Counsel), Huw Bowden and Eleanor Stephenson (Co-Counsels)|
|Haradinaj: Toby Cadman (Counsel), Carl Buckley and Almudena Bernabeu García (Co-Counsels)|
|Number of witnesses in court||14 (4 for SPO; 6 for Gucati; 4 for Haradinaj)|
|Number of written witness testimonies||18 (12 Gucati Defence; 6 Haradinaj Defence)|
|Number of exhibits||169 (SPO), 46 (Gucati Defence), 20 (Haradinaj Defence), 2 (Trial Panel)|
|Number of trial days in court||32|
|Pre-trial period length||12 months 12 days|
|Trial judgment deliberation phase length (between the end of trial until the pronouncement of trial judgment)||2 months 1 day|
|Total time before Basic Court (from transfer to the KSC until the trial judgment)||19 months 24 days|
Appeal proceedings (Case number KSC-CA-2022-01)
Both Gucati and Haradinaj filed their notices of appeal, dated 17 June 2022. Accordingly, the President assigned the Court of Appeals Panel, composed of Judges Michèle Picard, Kai Ambos and Nina Jørgensen to decide on the appeals. The SPO informed that it does not intend to appeal the trial judgment.
On 1 July, the Court of Appeals Panel, due to, inter alia, a non-compliance with the requirements of the relevant Practice Direction, struck in its entirety the Haradinaj’s notice of appeal and ordered him to re-file it within one week from the date of receipt of the Panel’s decision. As for Gucati’s notice of appeal, the Panel struck only ground 18 and ordered him to re-file his notice of appeal within the same deadline, should he wish to maintain the content of that ground. The notices of appeal were re-filed on 10 July (Haradinaj) and 11 July 2022 (Gucati).
The pre-appeal conference took place on 5 July 2022. Hysni Gucati filed his appeal brief on 22 August 2022 whereas the latest corrected version of the Haradinaj’s appeal brief was filed on 2 September 2022.
The appeal hearing took place on 1 and 2 December 2022.
The appeal judgment was pronounced on 2 February 2023. The Appeals Panel affirmed Gucati’s and Haradinaj’s convictions for intimidation during criminal proceedings (count 3), violating the secrecy of proceedings through the unauthorised revelation of secret information disclosed in official proceedings (count 5), and violating the secrecy of proceedings through the unauthorised revelation of the identities and personal data of protected witnesses (count 6). The Appeals Panel further affirmed, Judge Ambos dissenting, the conviction for obstructing official persons in performing official duties by serious threat (count 1). The Appeals Panel reversed the Trial Panel’s finding related to the obstructing official persons in performing official duties by participating in the common action of a group (count 2) and acquitted Gucati and Haradinaj on this count. In view of their findings, the Appeals Panel by majority reduced the sentences of four and a half years imposed by the Trial Panel to four years and three months of imprisonment, with credit for time served. The Appeals Panel affirmed the additional sentence to pay a fine of one hundred euros (100 EUR) each.
|Court of Appeals Panel composition||Judges Michèle Picard (Presiding), Kai Ambos and Nina Jørgensen|
|Specialist Prosecutor's Office||Matthew Halling, James Pace|
|Defence Counsel||Gucati: Jonathan Elystan Rees (Counsel), Huw Bowden and Eleanor Stephenson (Co-Counsels)|
|Haradinaj: Toby Cadman (Counsel), Almudena Bernabeu García and John Cubbon (Co-Counsels)|
|Appeal judgment deliberation phase (from the parties' last submissions until the pronouncement of the appeal judgement)||30 days|
|Appeal case length*||7 months and 16 days|
*the period between the filing of the notices of appeal untill the pronunciation of the appeal judgment
Requests for protection of legality before Supreme Court (Case number KSC-SC-2023-01)
On 2 and 3 May 2023, respectively, Haradinaj and Gucati filed their requests for protection of legality pursuant to Article 48(6) to (8) of the Law and Rule 193 of the Rules. Accordingly, the President assigned the Supreme Court Panel, composed of Judges Ekaterina Trendafilova, Christine van den Wyngaert and Daniel Fransen to decide on the requests. On 9 May 2023, Haradinaj re-filed his request.
On 18 September 2023, the Supreme Court Panel rejected both requests for protection of legality.
Commutation, modification or alteration of sentences
On 12 October 2023, the KSC President Ekaterina Trendafilova decided to modify Hysni Gucati’s sentence to provide for his release on or about 18 October 2023, under the conditions set forth in the decision. These conditions will continue to apply for the duration of the sentence imposed by the Court of Appeals Panel, namely for the remainder of the four year and three-month sentence. Hysni Gucati was released on 17 October 2023.
On 12 October 2023, President Trendafilova decided that she will consider modification of Nasim Haradinaj’s sentence to provide for his release under certain conditions after receipt of a report from Registrar Fidelma Donlon on Haradinaj’s behaviour while at the KSC Detention Facilities.
List of all hearings
Below you can find the list of all hearings in the Gucati&Haradinaj case. Please note that videos and transcripts will be added to the list as they become available. It will sometimes take days before a video or a transcript is available for certain hearings.
|Date||Type of hearing||Video recording||Transcript|
|29/09/2020||First appearance (Haradinaj)||Video||Transcript|
|01/10/2020||First appearance (Gucati)||Video||Transcript|
|18/12/2020||Initial appearance (Haradinaj)||Video||Transcript|
|18/12/2020||Initial appearance (Gucati)||Video||Transcript|
|08/01/2021||Further appearance (Haradinaj)/Status Conference||Video||Transcript|
|01/09/2021||Trial preparation conference||Video||Transcript|
|02/09/2021||Trial preparation conference||Video||Transcript|
|08/09/2021||SPO Preparation conference||Video||Transcript|
|07/10/2021||Opening statement (SPO)||Video||Transcript|
|18/10/2021||Trial hearing - testimony of SPO witness Zdenka Pumper||Video||Transcript|
|19/10/2021||Trial hearing - testimony of SPO witness Zdenka Pumper||Video||Transcript|
|20/10/2021||Trial hearing - testimony of SPO witness Zdenka Pumper||Video||Transcript|
|21/10/2021||Trial hearing - testimony of SPO witness Zdenka Pumper||Video||Transcript|
|25/10/2021||Trial hearing - testimony of SPO witness Zdenka Pumper||Video||Transcript|
|26/10/2021||Trial hearing - testimony of SPO witnesses Zdenka Pumper and Halil Berisha||Video||Transcript|
|27/10/2021||Trial hearing - testimony of SPO witness Halil Berisha||Video||Transcript|
|28/10/2021||Trial hearing - testimony of SPO witness Miro Jukić||Video||Transcript|
|04/11/2021||Trial hearing - testimony of SPO witness Miro Jukić||Video||Transcript|
|05/11/2021||Trial hearing - testimony of SPO witness Daniel Moberg||Video||Transcript|
|08/11/2021||Trial hearing - procedural matters/unsworn statements of the accused||Video||Transcript|
|02/12/2021||Defence preparation conference||Video||Transcript|
|03/12/2021||Opening statement (Gucati Defence)||Video||Transcript|
|06/12/2021||Trial hearing - testimony of Defence witness Hysni Gucati (the accused)||Video||Transcript|
|07/12/2021||Trial hearing - testimony of Defence witness Hysni Gucati (the acused)||Video||Transcript|
|08/12/2021||Trial hearing - testimony of Defence witness Hysni Gucati (the accused)||Video||Transcript|
|09/12/2021||Trial hearing - testimony of Defence witnesses Taibe Miftari, Elmedina Ballazhi, Pren Marashi and Metush Kryeziu||Video||Transcript|
|10/12/2021||Trial hearing - testimony of Defence witness Cele Gashi||Video||Transcript|
|15/12/2021||Trial hearing - further cross-examination of two recalled SPO witnesses Pumper and Jukić/Opening statement (Haradinaj Defence)||Video||Transcript|
|11/01/2022||Trial hearing - testimony of Defence witness Nasim Haradinaj (the accused)||Video||Transcript|
|12/01/2022||Trial hearing - testimony of Defence witness Nasim Haradinaj (the accused)||Video||Transcript|
|13/01/2022||Trial hearing - testimony of Defence witness Nasim Haradinaj (the accused)||Video||Transcript|
|14/01/2022||Trial hearing - testimony of Defence witnesses Nasim Haradinaj (the accused) and Rashit Qalaj||Video||Transcript|
|21/01/2022||Trial hearing - testimony of Defence witness Anna Myers||Video||Transcript|
|24/01/2022||Trial hearing - testimony of Defence witness Robert Reid||Video||Transcript|
|28/01/2022||Trial hearing - testimony of Defence witness Robert Reid||Video||Transcript|
|14/03/2022||Closing statements (SPO)||Video||Transcript|
|15/03/2022||Closing statements (Gucati Defence)||Video||Transcript|
|16/03/2022||Closing statements (Gucati&Haradinaj Defence)||Video||Transcript|
|17/03/2022||Closing statements (SPO responses, Defence's replies, sentencing submissions)||Video||Transcript|
|18/05/2022||Pronouncement of trial judgment||Video||Transcript|