Following today’s verdict in the trial of Hysni Gucati and Nasim Haradinaj, Specialist Prosecutor Jack Smith pledged to vigilantly investigate and prosecute all cases of witness intimidation, retaliation against witnesses and obstruction of justice.
“Today justice was served. Mr Gucati and Mr Haradinaj have been found guilty for their crimes following a transparent, careful and fair adjudication of this important case,” the Specialist Prosecutor said. “As stated by the Trial Panel today, the protection of witnesses from intimidation and harm lies at the very foundation of any system of criminal justice – the acts and conduct of the accused challenged that very foundation.”
“The acts and statements in this case took place in a climate of intimidation, as found today by the judges”, Mr Smith continued. “The Specialist Prosecutor’s Office will continue to vigorously pursue investigation and prosecution of all acts of witness intimidation, retaliation against witnesses or obstruction of justice.” “The Kosovo Specialist Chambers has a unique ability to provide justice for victims because it represents a safe place where witnesses can speak openly about the crimes they saw and suffered through over 20 years ago. Intimidating or retaliating against such victims is, in my view, a gravely serious crime which strikes at the heart of this institution’s ability to do justice and the rule of law. If you seek to intimidate or retaliate against witnesses of this Court, I will do all that is in my power to assure you will ultimately find yourself brought to justice.”