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Press Release

Conviction in smuggling of migrants’ case

23 January 2013

A mixed panel of two EULEX Judges and one Kosovo judge presided over by a EULEX judge at the Basic Court of Pejë/Peć convicted nine defendants of offences relating to smuggling of migrants.

  • The defendant, Bekim Nikqi was convicted of smuggling of migrants and sentenced to two years of imprisonment. A fine of three thousand Euros was also imposed.
  • The defendant, Nysret Bici was convicted of smuggling of migrants and attempted smuggling of migrants. He was sentenced to four years of imprisonment. A fine of ten thousand Euros was also imposed.
  • The defendant, Berat Biqi was convicted of smuggling of migrants and smuggling of migrants in co-perpetration. He was sentenced to three years of imprisonment. A fine of four thousand Euros was also imposed.
  • The defendant, Agim Berisha was convicted of smuggling of migrants and smuggling of migrants in co-perpetration. He was sentenced to two years and six months of imprisonment. A fine of four thousand Euros was also imposed.
  • The defendant, Azem Bytyqi was convicted of smuggling of migrants. He was sentenced to three years of imprisonment. A fine of four thousand Euros was also imposed.
  • The defendant, Mehdi Bllaca was convicted of falsifying documents. He was sentenced to one year of imprisonment. A fine of one thousand Euros was also imposed.
  • The defendant, Sefadin Bezeraj was convicted of smuggling of migrants. He was sentenced to eighteen months of imprisonment. A fine of five hundred Euros was also imposed.
  • The defendant, Arben Preqi was convicted of assistance with smuggling of migrants. He was sentenced to ten months of imprisonment which shall not be executed if he does not commit another criminal offense for the verification time of two years. A fine of five hundred Euros was also imposed.
  • The defendant, Zenun Zejnullahu was convicted of assistance with smuggling of migrants. He was sentenced to six months of imprisonment which shall not be executed if he does not commit another criminal offense for the verification time of one year. A fine of three hundred Euros was also imposed.

The defendants were found guilty for smuggling residents of Kosovo from Kosovo to various European countries through Serbia and other territories.

All defendants were acquitted of having committed organised crime, because it was not proven that at any stage three or more of the defendants had actively participated in the criminal activities or other activities of an organized criminal group, knowing that their participation will contribute to the commission of serious crimes by the organised criminal group.

The case was prosecuted by a Kosovo prosecutor from the Special Prosecution Office of Kosovo.

All defendants have the right of appeal.