Haxhi Shala was arrested yesterday, 11 December 2023, in Kosovo by the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office, pursuant to an arrest warrant, transfer order and a confirmed indictment issued by a Pre-trial Judge of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers.

Haxhi Shala was transferred to the Detention Facilities of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague today, 12 December 2023.

The Pre-Trial Judge confirmed the indictment against Mr Shala on 4 December 2023. The public redacted version of the indictment, as confirmed, is available on the KSC website. The accused received a copy of the indictment in his mother tongue on the day of his arrest.

The indictment, as confirmed, states that between at least 5 April 2023 and 12 April 2023, Mr Shala, in co-perpetration with other individuals, including Sabit Januzi and Ismet Bahtijari, coordinated as a group before and after in-person approaches made to Witness 1 by Mr Januzi and Mr Bahtijari.

It further states that, upon instructions from Mr Shala, Mr Januzi and Mr Bahtijari individually met with Witness 1 on two separate occasions in order to induce him to withdraw evidence or refrain from providing evidence in official proceedings before the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, including by use of serious threat and the promise of a benefit.

This conduct, according to the indictment, demonstrates Mr Shala’s intent to intimidate Witness 1 and to obstruct official persons, including Specialist Prosecutor’s Office prosecutors and investigators, in performing official duties.

The indictment, as confirmed, charges Haxhi Shala with: (i) intimidation; and (ii) attempting to obstruct, by serious threat, official persons in performing official duties, both individually and by participating in the common action of a group.

As background, Sabit Januzi and Ismet Bahtijari were arrested in Kosovo on 5 October 2023 and transferred to the KSC Detention Unit on 6 October 2023, on the basis of a confirmed indictment. Information about the Januzi and Bahtijari case can be found on the relevant Case Page.

The Initial Appearance of Haxhi Shala is scheduled to take place on 13 December 2023 at 14:00 in the courtroom of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) in The Hague.

The Initial Appearance will be a public hearing. During an Initial Appearance the Pre-Trial Judge makes sure that the rights of the Accused, including the right to legal representation, are respected, and that the Accused understands the charges against them.

The Initial Appearance can be viewed online with a short delay at https://www.scp-ks.org/en/streaming.

The hearing can also be followed from the public gallery of the courtroom at the premises of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague. In addition, the KSC has a dedicated media centre at its premises from which journalists can work and follow proceedings with a short delay.

More details about visiting the KSC to attend a hearing can be found here.

Specialist Chambers