Kosovo War Veterans’ Leader ‘Trapped’ by Leaked Documents

The leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army's War Veterans Organization, Hysni Gucati, on trial for war crimes before the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in the Hague, told the court he had been "set a trap" by leaked documents. 

"My biggest personal wish is for the prosecutors … to discover who set me in a trap with the documents," Gucati told the court, adding that he "would have resigned if those documents had leaked from my office".

Gucati told his lawyer, Jonathan Rees, in court on Monday that the first to see the package with documents from the court was the secretary of the KLA War Veterans' Organization, Taibe Miftari.

"The package had written on a paper with a pencil that another 7,000 files would be brought," Gucati said, adding that a masked person had claimed they would bring other documents.

Asked why he had organised a press conference about the documents, Gucati responded: "It was a surprise that this package was brought without our wish and without warning; for this reason, we held a press conference, so those documents would not be shared by extortionists."

Gucati and the deputy leader of the KLA War Veterans Organization, Nasim Haradinaj, are on trial at the Hague-based Specialist Chambers for obstruction of justice and intimidation of witnesses, after they came into possession of two tranches of confidential case files from the Specialist Chambers in September 2020. They are accused of urging the media to publish the material.

They have both pleaded not guilty.

On Friday last week, Rees said Gucati and Haradinaj were on trial because it was obvious that the Court was collaborating with Serbs who were responsible for massacres in Kosovo during the independence war of the late-1990s. 


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