On 11 December 2020, a Pre-Trial Judge of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers confirmed the indictment filed on 30 October 2020 by the Specialist Prosecutor against Hysni Gucati (“Mr. Gucati”) and Nasim Haradinaj (“Mr. Haradinaj”) for offences against the administration of justice, namely obstruction of official persons in performing official duties, intimidation of witnesses, retaliation and violation of secrecy of proceedings.
The charges contained in the confirmed indictment relate to a well-grounded suspicion 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, including by social media statements, Mr. Gucati and Mr. Haradinaj revealed, without authorisation, information protected under the law of the Specialist Chambers, including the identifying details of certain (potential) witnesses. Mr Gucati and Mr Haradinaj also made disparaging accusations and remarks against (potential) witnesses and repeatedly expressed their intention to undermine the Specialist Chambers. By these actions, Mr Gucati and Mr Haradinaj violated the secrecy of the proceedings, retaliated against and intimidated (potential) witnesses of the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office and, as a consequence, obstructed its work and investigations.
Under the law, the Kosovo Specialist Chambers has jurisdiction to try individuals for criminal offences against the administration of justice, when these relate to the Specialist Chambers’ official proceedings and officials.
Mr Gucati and Mr Haradinaj were arrested as suspects by the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office on 25 September 2020, with the support of EULEX and the Kosovo Police and transferred to the Detention Facilities of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague. Mr. Haradinaj’s first appearance as a suspect was held on 29 September 2020 and Mr. Gucati’s first appearance as a suspect was held on 1 October 2020.
With the confirmation of the indictment, Mr Gucati and Mr Haradinaj become accused persons before the Specialist Chambers and the pre-trial phase of their case will now begin, starting with their initial appearances.
The initial appearance as an accused of Mr Haradinaj will take place on Tuesday, 15 December 2020, at 15:00. The initial appearance of Mr Gucati as an accused will take place on Friday, 18 December 2020, at 11:00. They will be public hearings and can be followed by video streaming via https://www.scp-ks.org/en/streaming with a short delay.
The hearings can also be followed in person from the premises of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague. However, due to measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, seating in both the public gallery and the media centre will be very limited and pre-registration is required. More information on pre-registration is available at: https://www.scp-ks.org/en/calendar