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Press Release

Verdict in War Crimes Case

30 May 2014

Yesterday, a panel of international judges at the Basic Mitrovica Court acquitted the four defendants, Ismet Haxha, Shefki Hyseni, Nexhat Qubreli and Sylejman Selimi, accused of War Crimes against Civilian Population under multiple counts, pursuant to the Article 142 of the Criminal Code of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, currently criminalized under 152 of the Criminal Code of Kosovo.

The Trial Panel could not find proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the events occurring between villages of Vaganica and Likovc on unspecified dates in late 1998, early 1999 and relating to the charges in the indictment, could be attributed beyond a reasonable doubt to the defendants. Therefore, the Trial Panel could not find them guilty of the charged criminal offences.

However, the Trial Panel did find established beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant Shefki Hyseni committed the criminal offence of Kidnapping pursuant to the Article 64 Paragraph (1) of the Criminal Law of the Republic of Serbia, the law in force at the time of the offence. Because the time limit for conviction had passed, he was acquitted of the that criminal offence.

Following the reading of the judgment, a ruling on termination of detention on remand was issued for defendants Haxha, Qubreli and Hyseni. Nevertheless, defendant Haxha and defendant Selimi remain in detention on remand in the so-called Drenica Case.