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Press Release

Supreme Court upholds partial conviction for extortion

14 May 2012

A mixed panel of judges, presided over by a EULEX judge at the Supreme Court, upheld the conviction of the first instance court against Muhamet Demaj, Bajram Mehmetaj and Azem Veseli for the criminal offence of extortion.

The Supreme Court partially accepted the appeals of the defendants dismissing the guilty verdict for the charge of attempted extortion.

The Court also partially accepted the appeals of the District Prosecutor raising the sentences for Muhamet Demaj and Bajram Mehmetaj to three years of imprisonment. For Azem Veseli the sentence is two years of imprisonment.

In the original court case, the three defendants Muhamet Demaj, Bajram Mehmetaj and Azem Veseli were found guilty of committing the offences of extortion and attempted extortion and were punished with a prison sentence of two years and six months each.

The first instance court found that between November 2009 and February 2010 in Pejë/Peć, the defendants acting as a group, extorted Ekrem Lluka to give them 150 thousand Euros. The case also relates to a privatization process that failed mainly because the defendants threatened a foreign investor to include them in the company that won the bidding process. This caused the foreign investor to withdraw from the privatization process.