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Drenica 2 Verdict

27 May 2015

Today a judicial panel at the Mitrovica Basic Court pronounced the verdict of the Drenica 2 case. 

The indictment alleged the existence of a Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) detention centre where, the Prosecutor alleges, KLA members committed war crimes against the civilian population by, inter alia the intentional perpetration of violence, cruel treatment, beating, torture and humiliating and degrading treatment against Kosovo Albanian civilians detained in the KLA detention facility at Likoc/Likovac, all allegedly to have taken place in August and September 1998.

The charges brought by the Prosecutor are War Crimes against the Civilian Population provided for and punished by Articles 22 and 142 of the CCSFRY (currently criminalized under Articles 31 and 152 of the CCRK), in violation of Article 3 Common to the Geneva Conventions and of Article 4 of the Additional Protocol II, all of which are rules of international law effective at the time of the internal armed conflict in Kosovo.

The judicial panel ruled that Mr. Sylejman Selimi, Mr. Jahir Demaku, Mr. Zeqir Demaku and Mr. Isni Thaci were found "Guilty" of the criminal offence of Cruel Treatment, Torture and Humiliating and Degrading Treatment against Citizens (Kosovo Albanians) and sentenced to seven (7) years for Mr. Selimi and six (6) years for the others. 

For the offence of Maltreatment of Detainees, Mr. Agim Demaj, Mr. Bashkim Demaj, Mr. Driton Demaj, Mr. Selman Demaj,  Mr. Fadil Demaku,  and Mr. Nexhat Demaku were all sentenced to three (3) years imprisonment.

Jahir Demaku, Zeqir Demaku, Isni Thaci were found "Guilty" of the count of Perpetration of Violence, Cruel treatment, Torture and Humiliating and Degrading Treatment against Citizens (Kosovo Albanian) and receiving sentences of five (5) and six (6) years, for an aggregate of seven (7) years. Sulejman Selimi was found "Guilty" of the count of Perpetration of Violence, Cruel treatment, Torture and Humiliating and Degrading Treatment against Citizens (Kosovo Albanian) and received six (6) and seven (7) years, for an aggregate of eight (8) years. 

The Court took into account these multiple counts and convictions and issued the following aggregate sentences for Mr. Sylejman Selimi (8 years), Mr. Jahir Demaku (7 years), Mr. Zeqir Demaku (7 years) and Mr. Isni Thaci to (7 years) imprisonment.

All 10 defendants were convicted in the Drenica 2 case,

The Prosecutor welcomed the judgment of the Court, including the Order of the Court for Detention on Remand, and noted the real and sustained courage of the victims, and witnesses, who presented their evidence to the Court, despite challenges, intimidation and difficulties for themselves and their families. 

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