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Press Release

Indictment partially confirmed in BIRN case

03 May 2012, Pristina

Today, a EULEX judge at the Municipal Court of Pristina partially confirmed the indictment against Sami Lushtaku, Rexhep Hoti, Arizona Dibra, Avni Azemi, Rizah Hajdari, and Qani Mehmedi. The defendants had been charged with the criminal offence of Violating Equal Status of Residents of Kosovo, Threat, and Defamation.

The criminal offence of Threat is confirmed for Sami Lushtaku, Rizah Hajdari, Qani Mehmedi and Avni Azemi, and dissmised for Rexhep Hoti and Arizona Dibra.

The criminal offence of Defamation is dismissed from the indictment and proceedings suspended in order for the injured party to pursue the case through private prosecution.

The criminal offence of Violating Equal Status of Residents of Kosovo is dismissed against all defendants.

The indictment was filed by a EULEX prosecutor from the Kosovo Special Prosecution Office (SPRK).

The case relates to an alleged campaign of threats against the journalist, Jeta Xharra, and a member of her staff at the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) by the newspaper Infopress in June 2009 following the broadcast of a television program (hosted by Jeta Xharra) purportedly critical of the mayor of Skenderaj/Srbica and the Drenica region.

The decision can be appealed by the Special Prosecutor and injured party within three days from the service of the ruling.