19 December 2014
19 December 2014
Today an international judge at Mitrovica Basic Court granted the motions of 6 defendants in the ‘Drenica Group’ war crimes trial for bail. Bail amounts were set at between €20,000 and €50,000, proportionate to the gravity of the offences. The release order will not be issued until bail has been received. Defendants must surrender any and all travel documents to the Court, if not already done so. Further, they must not make any contact with any witness in the case, make any public statements or speeches of any kind, nor approach any place where more than 10 persons are gathering. Failure to adhere to these conditions will result in immediate return to detention on remand. These measures will remain in place for 2 months, until February 2015.
In opting for less restrictive measures, the Court weighed the risk of securing further evidence against the principles of proportionality of restrictive measures, and that defendants should not be penalized for any delay in proceedings not caused by them. Given this, the Court considered that the defendants had already been on detention on remand for over 18 months. The Court further noted that the vast majority of the evidence supporting the prosecution case has already been presented in the main trial. Virtually all substantive prosecution testimony has been secured, and the remaining prosecution testimony can only establish the veracity of particular facts; it will make no difference to the overall question of guilt or innocence. All parties have the right to appeal.
These measures will remain in place for 2 months, until 18 February 2015.