From: Die Morina van Uijtregt
KLA Veterans Official Calls Hague-Based Prosecution Corrupted

The deputy head of the Kosovo Liberation Army Veterans’ Organization, Nasim Haradinaj told the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) that the indictment against him and his superior, Hysni Gucati is an attempt by the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office to divert the attention from itself.

Haradinaj is accused of revealing, without authorization, information protected under the law of the KSC, including the identifying details of certain (potential) witnesses, during three press conferences between September 7 and 25, 2020.

During this period, their office anonymously received investigation files leaked from the Specialist Prosecutors Office (SPO).

“Trying to divert the attention from the persons who leaked these documents from office of this Prosecution, who brought them to us, to Kosovo and making us responsible for their action. This is not justice […] It is absurd to blame us for the mistakes and errors made by this prosecution,” Haradinaj told the court on Friday.

He said that the SPO only aims to smear the liberation war of Kosovo.

“In my opinion, this Prosecution is selective, political and biased. And, with their action, I am convinced that they are corrupt, because, otherwise, how could all that material come out of their offices,” Haradinaj stressed.

He added that as an organization of war veterans, they did not have any access to SPO’s leaked documents.

“So, instead of myself, their colleagues should have been here, people from the Prosecution. Maybe some of the people that are here [in the courtroom] themselves,” Haradinaj said.

Further, he contested the jurisdiction of the Chambers and the mandate of the prosecution.

The SPO charges Haradinaj with six counts: obstructing official persons in performing official duties by serious threat; obstructing official persons in performing official duties by participating in the common action of a group; intimidation during criminal proceedings; retaliation; violating the secrecy of proceeding through unauthorized revelation of secret information disclosed in official proceedings; and violating secrecy of proceedings through unauthorized revelation of the identities and personal data of protected witnesses.

Haradinaj was arrested on the same day as the head of the KLA veterans’ organization, Hysni Gucati on September 25. They were then transferred to The Hague.

This was his initial appearance as an accused, whereas he did not plead guilty during Friday’s hearing.

Previously, he has refused to acknowledge the authority of the KSC and the SPO.