EULEX Sentences Albanian for Murder

In the first war crimes trial to be held under the auspices of the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo, EULEX, judges found a Kosovo Albanian guilty of murder, attempted murder and grievous bodily harm, sentencing him to17 years in jail.

Gani Gashi, 59, from Komoran in central Kosovo was found responsible for the murder of 4 members of the Albanian Obrija family at a checkpoint on 12 July 1998.

The panel of three judges included two judges from EULEX and one judge from Kosovo. The prosecutor was also from EULEX. 

“This trial shows that EULEX is serious about investigating and prosecuting war crimes cases whenever they took place, as long as we have enough evidence for a successful prosecution to proceed. We will do this regardless of the ethnicity of those involved in the crime,” said Theo Jacobs, the chief EULEX Prosecutor.

The EU’s law and justice mission in Kosovo, EULEX, postponed the first trial under its mandate on Monday due to a protest by Serb judicial workers opposed to the work of the mission which they see as supporting Kosovo’s independence from Serbia.

The trial, against two Kosovo Serbs accused of robbery in Leposavic, was postponed for an as yet unspecified date. The two men were indicted in June last year, charged with breaking into the home of an elderly couple in Gnjezane village, assaulting the couple and taking money and other valuables.

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