Mr Isni Kilaj was released in Kosovo today, 15 May, under strict conditions, pursuant to the decision of a Single Judge of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC), taken on 3 May 2024. This decision was subsequently upheld by a KSC Court of Appeals Panel on 13 May 2024.

In his Decision on Review of Detention of Isni Kilaj, the Single Judge found that a grounded suspicion remains that Mr Kilaj committed, alone or together with others, offences against the administration of justice. The Single Judge also found that a moderate risk of flight continues to exist, as well as a risk that Mr Kilaj may obstruct the progress of criminal proceedings and commit further crimes. He further found that none of the conditions put forth by the Defence for Mr Kilaj, nor any other conditions imposed by the Single Judge, could fully restrict Mr Kilaj’s ability to obstruct the progress of KSC proceedings and commit further offences.

However, the Single Judge concluded that extending Mr Kilaj’s detention at this time would be unreasonable, having duly considered his presumption of innocence and right to liberty in the light of new developments. The Single Judge considered that (i) Mr Kilaj has been detained for nearly six months; (ii) the offences for which Mr Kilaj is considered a suspect carry a possible penalty between one (1) and five (5) years; and (iii) a recent request by the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) for the Single Judge to suspend his consideration of the submitted indictment given the SPO’s intent to submit an amended indictment, substantially delays the timeline of proceedings. Therefore, the Single Judge decided that the risks that would result from Mr Kilaj’s release do not outweigh his fundamental right to liberty.

On 13 May, the Court of Appeals Panel denied the appeal of the SPO against the decision. The SPO’s appeal focused on the conditions of Mr Kilaj’s release ordered by the Single Judge.

Although he has been released, Mr Kilaj remains a suspect in KSC proceedings and his release is subject to strict conditions imposed by the Single Judge including:

•             Providing a financial security to the Registrar (bail) in the amount of EUR 30,000 as a pre-condition for his release;

•             Not leaving the territory of Kosovo unless permitted by a competent panel of the KSC and surrendering to the Registrar his passport and any other travel documents;

•             Providing the address where he will reside for the duration of the judicial proceedings, and reporting on a weekly basis to the Kosovo Police, in accordance with the procedures designated by the Registrar;

•             Refraining from making, directly or indirectly, any public statement to the media and/or on social media regarding the KSC, the SPO and/or any KSC proceedings, including any statements involving threats or force, and obstruction of criminal investigation;

•             Attending any hearing required by the KSC and abiding by any other decision or order of the court.

The Single Judge emphasised that, should any of the conditions not be met, a warrant will be immediately issued for Mr Kilaj’s arrest.

For more information, public redacted versions of the Single Judge’s 3 May Decision on Review of Detention of Isni Kilaj and the Court of Appeals’ 13 May Decision on the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office’s Appeal Against Decision on Isni Kilaj’s Review of Detention can be accessed on the KSC website.

Specialist Chambers