Press

REGISTRY:

WITNESS IN HARADINAJ ET AL. CASE ARRESTED FOR CONTEMPT OF COURT


Press Release
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)

The Hague, 9 November 2007

CT/MOW/ PR1196e




Avni Krasniqi, a witness in the Haradinaj et al. case, was today arrested following his indictment for contempt of court.


Krasniqi committed contempt of court on 29 October 2007 by knowingly and willfully interfering with the administration of justice by failing to comply with an order to appear before the Trial Chamber in the Haradinaj et al. case, according to the indictment. The indictment was issued confidentially 5 November 2007 and released publicly today following Krasniqi's
arrest.


Throughout the trial of Haradinaj et al, the Prosecution has complained of witness intimidation leading to witnesses refusing to testify. The Prosecution has filed numerous applications for witness subpoenas and trial related protective measures in the case.


The first witness to be charged with contempt in this case, Shefqet Kabashi, refused to testify while taking the oath before his testimony during the trial on 5 June 2007. He was then charged with contempt of court.


Ramush Haradinaj surrendered to the Tribunal on 9 March 2005 and was granted pre-trial provisional release from June 2005 to February 2007. The trial commenced on 5 March 2007 and the Prosecution is expected to complete its case-in-chief in the next few weeks.


Haradinaj, a well known military figure from the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) during the 1998-99 conflict in Kosovo with Serb forces, was after the conflict the leader of a minority political party and briefly served as Prime Minister of Kosovo. He is accused of participating in a joint criminal enterprise aimed at asserting full control in the KLA operational zone of
Dukagjin which allegedly was carried out by the unlawful removal and mistreatment of Serb civilians, Kosovar Albanians, Kosovar Roma and other civilians who were, or were perceived to have been, collaborating with Serb forces or not supporting the KLA.


The initial appearance of Krasniqi has been scheduled for 12:00, Monday 12 November in Courtroom II.


The full text of the indictment for contempt can be found on the Tribunal's website at: www.un.org/icty/indictment/english/krn-contmpt071105.pdf




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Courtroom proceedings can be followed on the Tribunal's website www.un.org/icty.