Suspect Arsim Limani at Prishtina Basic Court on November 6, 2023

Kosovo Court Sentences Arsonist of Journalist’s House to Four Years

A Kosovo court sentenced Arsim Limani to four years in prison for setting fire to the house of journalist Alban Selimi in March 2023 – but while Selimi welcomed the verdict, he said the question of who ordered the attack remained unanswered.

Prishtina Basic Court on Thursday sentenced a man to four years in prison for setting fire to the home of journalist Alban Selimi last year.

Arsim Limani was not present in court when Judge Medije Bytyci announced the verdict. The court changed the charge from “serious attempted murder”’ to “causing general danger”, however. The verdict can be appealed.

In September last year, the suspect pleaded guilty to arson but added that “his aim was not to harm anyone but to convey e message”. The jail term includes the time the suspect spent in detention.

In a statement to BIRN after the verdict, Selimi, said the court had handled his case properly but the investigation had failed to address who ordered the attack.

“I have no dilemma that a ‘strong hand’ is hidden behind this attack and this hand has used the suspect as a tool to get rid of me and my family,” Selimi, a journalist with the public broadcaster Radio Television of Kosovo, RTK, said.

The prosecution charged Limani with the attempted murder of the journalist by setting fire to the garage which is part of his house, in Fushe Kosove/Kosovo Polje, near Pristina. The garage was heavily damaged by the fire. No casualties were reported.

Selimi was not in the house at that moment, but his life and that of his wife and children were in danger, the indictment said.

The Association of the Journalists of Kosovo, AJK, said that “any attack on journalists is an attack on the public interest, democracy and citizens’ rights”.

and 15/02/2024 - 14:33

15 February 2024 - 14:33

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