The deputy head of the Kosovo Liberation Army Veterans’ Organization, Nasim Haradinaj refused to appear before the Kosovo Specialist Chambers’ pre- trial Judge on Friday, as a protest “against the way he has been treated”.
Due to Haradinaj’s refusal to be present at the further appearance he failed to enter a plea, therefore the pre-trial judge Nicolas Guillou entered the plea of not guilty on his behalf.
The head of KLA Veterans, Hysni Gucati and his deputy Haradinaj are accused of revealing without authorization, information protected under the law of the KSC, including the identifying details of certain (potential) witnesses, on the occasion of three press conferences between 7 and 25 September 2020.
During this period, their office anonymously received investigation files leaked from the Specialist Prosecutors Office (SPO).
The SPO charges Gucati 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.
During the status conference where the parties agree on issues the issues before the trial begins, on Friday the pre-trial judge noted that Haradinaj’s defense indicated it needs one to two months for investigations.
Specialist’s Prosecutors Office (SPO) said that February 19 could be the deadline for disclosing the seized materials. However, according to them this material will not be voluminous.
The defense empathized that one to two months is a rough estimate, as it will need to consider additional material that the SPO tends to disclose by February 19.
The prosecution claims that the defense investigation should be conducted and they should be given the opportunity to do so, “however as they mentioned earlier the balk of the material that we intend rely the trial has by now already been disclosed”.
It claims there are no reasons why the trial should not take place by early spring.
SPO announced that they have 838 pages and 27 audio and film materials on this case.