According to the indictment, Pjetër Shala was a member of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) stationed in Kukёs, Albania.
The initial indictment against Shala was confirmed on 12 June 2020 and the redacted version made public on 15 April 2021. On 18 October 2021, the Pre-Trial Judge granted in part the Defence motion and ordered the SPO to amend the indictment to provide the required level of specificity and clarity in relation to the accused's personal participation in the incidents. The SPO filed the corrected indictment on 1 November 2021. This is currently the operative indictment in this case.
Summary of charges
The alleged crimes with which Shala is charged took place between approximately 17 May 1999 and 5 June 1999 against persons detained at the Kukёs Metal Factory (Albania) allegedly used by the KLA. According to the indictment, the victims of these crimes were all FRY citizens, who did not actively take part in hostilities.
The charges are the following:
Four counts of war crimes
- Arbitrary detention (Count 1)
- Cruel treatment (Count 2)
- Torture (Count 3)
- Murder (Count 4)
Shala was arrested on 16 March 2021 in Belgium and transferred to the Detention Unit of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers on 15 April 2021.
Shala’s initial appearance took place on 19 April 2021 before the Pre-Trial Judge, Nicolas Guillou. He pleaded not guilty to all counts of the indictment.
On 15 December 2021, the Pre-Trial Judge admitted one individual as a victim participating in the proceedings. In his second decision on victims' participation on 11 August 2022, the Pre-Trial Judge admitted another person as a participating victim in this case. Six new victims were admitted on 19 September 2022. On 9 February 2023, the Trial Panel decided that the reparation and criminal proceedings will be conducted concurrently in this case and that, in case of a conviction, the Panel will not refer victims to civil litigation in Kosovo courts pursuant to Article 22(9) of the Law and Rule 167 of the Rules, but issue a Reparation Order pursuant to Articles 22(8) and 44(6) of the Law. In its decision made public on 6 March 2023, the Panel varied the deadline for the submission of victim applications in the proceedings until the closing of the SPO case.
On 28 January 2022, the SPO filed, as strictly confidential and ex-parte, its pre-trial brief. A confidential redacted version of the Prosecution pre-trial brief was filed on 31 January, followed by a lesser redacted version (still confidential) on 8 February 2022. On 14 April 2023, the Specialist Prosecutor's Office filed a public redacted version of its pre-trial brief. On 21 April 2023, a public redacted version of the Defence's pre-trial brief was filed.
On 14 April 2022, in his oral order, the Pre-Trial Judge set 31 August 2022 as the tentative date for transmitting the case file to a trial panel. On 20 July 2022, the Pre-Trial Judge set a new tentative date for 21 September 2022. On 15 September 2022, the Pre-Trial Judge notified the President that the case file will be ready for transmission to the Trial Panel on 21 September 2022.
On 21 September 2022, the Pre-Trial Judge transmitted the case file to Trial Panel I. The trial preparation conference was held between 18 and 20 October 2022.
The trial commenced on 21 February 2023 with the opening statements of the Specialist Prosecutor, the Victims’ Counsel and the Defence. On 6 July 2023, the SPO closed its case.
On 21 August 2023, the Victims' Counsel presented evidence. The Defence Preparation Conference took place on 24 and 25 August 2023. On 15 September 2023, the Panel denied the Defence motion to dismiss the charge of murder (count 4), pursuant to Rule 130 of the KSC Rules of Procedure and Evidence. The Defence case commenced on 20 September 2023.
|Trial Panel composition||Judges Mappie Veldt-Foglia (presiding), Roland Dekkers, Gilbert Bitti and Vladimir Mikula (reserve judge)|
|Specialist Prosecutor's Office||Filippo De Minicis, Gaia Pergolo, Eva Wyler|
|Defence Counsel||Jean-Louis Gilissen (counsel), Mohamed Hédi Aouini, Leto Cariolou (co-counsels)|
|Victims' Counsel||Simon Laws (counsel), Maria Radziejowska (co-counsel)|
|Trial stage||Defence case|
|Number of participating victims||8|
|Number of trial days in court||27|
|Number of witnesses in court||10 (SPO), 2 (Victims' counsel), 3 (Defence)|
|Pre-trial period length||22 months 6 days|
*As of 03/10/2023
List of all hearings
Below you can find the list of all hearings in the Shala 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|
|18/10/2022||Trial Preparation Conference||Video||Transcript|
|19/10/2022||Trial Preparation Conference||Video||Transcript|
|27/03/2023||Trial hearing - testimony of SPO witness TW4-08||Video||Transcript|
|28/03/2023||Trial hearing - testimony of SPO witnesses TW4-08 and TW4-06||Video||Transcript|
|29/03/2023||Trial hearing - testimony of SPO witnesses TW4-06 and TW4-07||Video||Transcript|
|30/03/2023||Trial hearing - testimony of SPO witnesses TW4-07 and TW4-09||Video||Transcript|
|01/05/2023||Trial hearing - testimony of SPO witness TW4-10||Video||Transcript|
|02/05/2023||Trial hearing - testimony of SPO witnesses TW4-10 and TW4-11||Video||Transcript|
|03/05/2023||Trial hearing - testimony of SPO witness TW4-11||Video||Transcript|
|04/05/2023||Trial hearing - procedural matters||Video||Transcript|
|30/05/2023||Trial hearing - testimony of SPO witness TW4-01||Video||Transcript|
|31/05/2023||Trial hearing - testimony of SPO witness TW4-01||Video||Transcript|
|02/06/2023||Trial hearing - testimony of SPO witness TW4-01||Video||Transcript|
|05/06/2023||Trial hearing - testimony of SPO witness TW4-01||Video||Transcript|
|06/06/2023||Trial hearing - testimony of SPO witness TW4-01||Video||Transcript|
|16/06/2023||Trial hearing - testimony of SPO witness Zbyněk Dolejši||Video||Transcript|
|26/06/2023||Trial hearing - testimony of SPO witness Marek Gasior||Video||Transcript|
|27/06/2023||Trial hearing - testimony of SPO witness Marek Gasior||Video||Transcript|
|03/07/2023||Trial hearing - testimony of SPO witness Marek Gasior||Video||Transcript|
|04/07/2023||Trial hearing - testimony of SPO witness William Goodwin||Video||Transcript|
|21/08/2023||Trial hearing - testimony of witnesses called by the Victims' counsel Karin Duhne-Prinsen and Chayèn Lozano Parra||Video||Transcript|
|24/08/2023||Defence Preparation Conference||Video||Transcript|
|25/08/2023||Defence Preparation Conference||Video||Transcript|