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Albin Kurti trial adjourned until 2 March

23 February, 2010

Today, the Presiding Judge at Pristina District Court decided to adjourn the trial of Albin Kurti until 10am on 2 March 2010.

The trial was adjourned because the defendant was not present and because of the unavailability of the local judge.

Yesterday, the Presiding Judge issued an arrest warrant for Mr Kurti but, so far, the Kosovo Police have been unable to carry out the arrest.

The presence of the defendant is compulsory, as the first and foremost form of procedural guarantee for the defendant himself. A basic principle of rule of law is the right for every defendant to have a fair and independent trial within reasonable time. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty in front of an independent and fair court of justice.

Albin Kurti is accused of participating in a crowd committing a criminal offence; participating in a group obstructing official persons in performing official duties and calling for resistance in connection to events in Pristina in February 2007.

‘EULEX is in Kosovo to strengthen the rule of law. Part of the Mission’s work is to improve and strengthen Kosovo's judiciary to make it fully multi-ethnic, impartial, free from political influence and capable of holding fair trials according to international standards and best European practices. This trial of Mr Kurti shows EULEX’s commitment for justice to be dispensed in an effective, fair and impartial way,’ said EULEX Justice Spokesperson Kristiina Herodes.