The President of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC), Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova, on 12 October 2023, decided to modify Mr 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.
In coming to her decision, the President consulted the Judges of the sentencing Panels as provided for in Article 51(2) of the Law on Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office (“Law”), took into consideration the factors set forth in Rule 196(3) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence as well as the oral hearing she conducted with Mr Gucati.
The President considered that while the offences for which Mr Gucati was convicted are indisputably grave given the chilling impact the revelation of confidential information had on (potential) witnesses, there were a number of factors that weighed in favour of modification of his sentence.
Notably, the President found that Mr Gucati had an opportunity to reflect on his actions while at the KSC’s Detention Facilities and that his comportment had changed over time. The President noted Mr Gucati’s expressions of regret, in particular his express apology during the oral hearing to anyone who had felt threatened by his actions. The President further noted Mr Gucati’s firm commitment to refrain from engaging in any further acts that could qualify as offences against the administration of justice and to abide by any conditions imposed on his release. The President emphasised that if Mr Gucati fails to adhere to any of the conditions set forth in the decision the decision will be revoked.
The President’s decision, which is the first decision on commutation, modification or alteration of a sentence, can be found here on the KSC’s website.
Proceedings related to the commutation, modification or alteration of sentences as provided for in Article 51(2) of the Law are individual proceedings. When a convicted person has served two-thirds of a sentence, he or she becomes eligible for consideration of commutation, modification or alteration of the sentence, but does not have the right to the sentence being commuted, modified or altered.