The four Vetevendosje MPs on trial. | Photo: BIRN archive.

Warrant for Kurti and other MPs fined after failure to appear in court

Opposition MP Albin Kurti will be arrested and detained after failing to show up in court, while four other MPs were fined for not showing up to testify in tear-gas case.

An arrest warrant was issued for Albin Kurti after the Vetevendosje MP failed to appear in court on Friday. Kurti and three other opposition MPs are on trial for setting off teargas in the Kosovo Assembly last year. The MPs, including Donika Kadaj Bujupi, Albulena Haxhiu and Faton Topalli, set off tear gas in opposition to the draft law on Kosovo-Montenegro border demarcation.

The presiding judge Beqir Kalludra said that Kurti, who had missed other sessions as well, would be held in detention.

Kurti was not the only one to miss the session. The case’s prosecutor Fikrije Fejzullahu-Krasniqi was absent, as well as four MPs who were expected to testify, including Assembly Chairman Kadri Veseli and Deputy Chairman Xhavit Haliti.

“The state prosecutor’s absence will be reported to the State Prosecution, while I’m going to issue an arrest warrant for Albin Kurti,” said the judge.

A visibly upset Kalludra also decided to fine the absent witnesses with 200 euros each.

Vetevendosje spokesperson Shkodran Hoti reacted to the news, saying that the warrant was “politically influenced.”

“It is politically influenced because on one side we have an arrest warrant issued for Albin Kurti, and on the other we have a ridiculous fine for witnesses who were supposed to be there including the Assembly Chairman. This is why we consider this a continuation of an injustice,” Hoti said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chairman Haliti was furious when he found out about the fine, saying that he had no knowledge of even being a witness in the case.

“I found out today through the media that I’m a witness in the court proceedings against Albin Kurti. I also found out about a 200 euro fine on me because of my absence from testifying in this court. Oh come on, Judge Kalludra!” wrote Haliti in his reaction.

“How can I be a witness without ever being informed that I’m a witness, without receiving an invitation? Or should you issue compromising punishments, by abusing the law, for the sake of your whims? For the sake of the general opinion I want to notify you that I never received a notification or an invitation to be a witness from your court,” continued Haliti, requesting the judge to respect the rules and abide by the law.

21/04/2017 - 14:52

21 April 2017 - 14:52