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Press Release

Clarification on procedures regarding the arrest of Naser Kelmendi

8 May 2013

EULEX commends the actions of the Kosovo Police in responding to the Interpol Red Notice by arresting Naser Kelmendi, who was a fugitive from justice in Bosnia and Hercegovina, where he is accused of attempted murder, and also accused of the sale and distribution of illegal narcotics in South America, Turkey, Serbia, Croatia and other West European countries. An Interpol Red Notice is a formal request for provisional arrest of suspects who are outside the jurisdiction where they are accused of crimes. The Kosovo Police acted professionally and competently in securing the arrest, which they did in an operation without any assistance of EULEX.

Kosovo law allowed Mr. Kelmendi to be held for a period of 48 hours. According to Kosovo law Kosovo citizens cannot be held in detention with a view to extradition in the absence of an international agreement to that effect. Since Kosovo does not have such an international agreement with Bosnia, he had to be released after the 48 hour deadline.

Upon the release from police detention, Naser Kelmendi was arrested based on an order issued by a EULEX prosecutor from the Kosovo Special Prosecution Office (SPRK) who yesterday initiated an investigation into this case, based on the same offences he has been accused of in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A local SPRK prosecutor will be assigned to the case to conduct the investigations in a mixed team with the EULEX prosecutor.

The case is in the exclusive jurisdiction of SPRK as the suspect is being investigated, among other offenses, for organized crime.

EULEX staff in the Ministry of Justice may facilitate contact between the relevant actors. However, EULEX, operating as it does under Kosovo law, has no mandate to extradite any Kosovo citizen.