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Shefqet Kabashi transferred to Tribunal’s Detention Unit to stand trial for Contempt of Court

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

The Hague, 18 August 2011

Shefqet Kabashi transferred to Tribunal’s Detention Unit to stand trial for Contempt of Court

Shefqet Kabashi

Shefqet Kabashi, a former member of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) charged with contempt of court, was today transferred to the Tribunal’s custody following his arrest by the Dutch authorities.

Kabashi was charged with contempt of court on 5 June 2007 after refusing or failing to answer questions while testifying before the Trial Chamber in the case of Ramush Haradinaj and others.

The Trial Chamber sitting on the Haradinaj et al. case decided to prosecute the matter itself and summoned Kabashi to appear on 7 June 2007. The witness failed to appear on 7 June 2007 and returned to the United States, his country of residence.

On 1 November 2007, the Trial Chamber ordered Kabashi to appear on 20 November 2007 to testify by video-conference link from the United States. The witness appeared by video-conference link and refused to answer questions and testify.

On 11 December 2007, The Chamber referred the case to the Prosecutor to further investigate and prosecute the matter and directed the Prosecution to investigate Kabashi’s behaviour since it had reason to believe that the witness had also committed contempt on 20 November 2007. On 18 February 2008 the Prosecutor amended the indictment to include two counts of contempt of the Tribunal, relating to his refusals to answer the questions and testify both on 7 June and 20 November 2007.

Kabashi’s testimony is relevant to the re-trial of the Ramush Haradinaj et al. case as it relates to the defendants’ alleged responsibility for crimes committed at the KLA headquarters and the prison in Jablanica/Jabllanicë. Haradinaj, former KLA Commander and Prime Minister of Kosovo, and his two co-Accused Idriz Balaj and Lahi Brahimaj, are being re-tried on six counts of the indictment relating to the torture and murder of prisoners in the KLA-run camp in Jablanica/Jabllanicë. When ordering a partial re-trial of the case in July 2010, the Appeals Chamber found that the Trial Chamber had erred in failing to secure Kabashi’s testimony, and that of one other witnesses, thereby depriving the Prosecution of vital support for its case.

Kabashi will be detained on remand until further order.

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A copy of the amended indictment and a Case Information Sheet can be found at the following link.

A copy of the Appeals Chamber Judgement in the Haradinaj et al. case can be found at the following link.


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