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The retrial of Ukë Rugova and other accused persons for organized crime related to Italian visas fails again – Latest News

The retrial of Ukë Rugova and other accused persons for organized crime related to Italian visas fails again

For the second time in a row, the retrial against former MP Ukë Rugova, former Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS), Astrit Haraqija, as well as three others, Florjan Petani, Qefser Baholli and Izet Beqiri, failed. , charged with organized crime related to Italian visas.

The hearing scheduled for Tuesday has failed to be held due to the absence of the accused Astrit Haraqija, reports “Oath for Justice”.

The defense counsel of the accused Haraqija, lawyer Teki Bokshi made it known that his client could not be present in court for health reasons, for which he said that he would present the medical report as material evidence.

“Keep in mind that there is a court that must be notified in advance,” Judge Fatime Dermaku told Bokshi.

“He called me today. “If I had known that the trial would not take place, I would not have come here either”, said Bokshi.

“Not that the trial is on the left, there is a rule that the court should respect and inform the court in advance”, said Judge Dermaku, adding that the reason stated by the lawyer, which has to do with the parents of the accused, is not a legal reason. for which lawyer Bokshi stated that he would bring evidence.

In this regard, prosecutor Florije Shamolli said that it would be better for the lawyer to bring the medical report, for which Bokshi said that he would do so within a week.

In these circumstances, the hearing was postponed to April 16, for which the judge stated that in case there are no legal conditions for its holding, the parties will be notified in advance.

The same also obliged the lawyer Teki Bokshi to bring the medical report for his client.

Otherwise, January 14, 2020 is the date when the last trial was held against these accused, reports “Oath of Justice”.

Meanwhile, March 5, 2020 is the last date on which the hearing was held against the other accused in this case, Fitim Beqiri, Azad Beqiraj, Liridona Beqiri, Kujtim Avdyli, Ragip Gashi, Visar Beqiri, Hamza Beqiri, Azem Koskoviku, Edison Idrizaj, Beg Shaqiri, Hasan Shaqiri, Dritëro Voca, Valon Selimi, Fadil Ahmeti and Haxhi Islami.

In this case, Ukë Rugova, Astrit Haraqija and the other three defendants mentioned above are being tried separately, after the separation of the procedure against them, because according to the former judge of the case Naime Krasniqi-Jashanica, with this form of trial will be more efficient , reports “Oath of Justice”.

An attempt to hold a trial against Ukë Rugova, Astrit Haraqija and three other defendants was made on 26 February 2020, but the trial was not held as the trial panel was not fully composed.

In the morning and afternoon of August 4, 2020, hearings were scheduled to be held for this case, where in the morning Ukë Rugova, Astrit Haraqija, Florjan Petani, Qefser Baholli and Izet Beqiri were expected to appear before the court. Whereas, in the afternoon, a hearing was scheduled to be held against the other accused, Fitim Beqiri, Azad Beqiraj, Liridona Beqiri, Kujtim Avdyli, Ragip Gashi, Visar Beqiri, Hamza Beqiri, Azem Koskoviku, Edison Idrizaj, Beg Shaqiri, Hasan Shaqiri, Dritëro Voca, Valon Selimi, Fadil Ahmeti and Haxhi Islami.

However, Judge Krasniqi-Jashanica had announced for the “Oath of Justice” that the hearings were canceled due to the situation created by the global pandemic, COVID-19.

Because the presiding judge, Judge Naime Krasniqi-Jashanica, had moved from the Serious Crimes Department to the General Department, the trial scheduled for September 7, 2020 against former MP Ukë Rugova, the former Minister of Justice, had failed to take place. Culture, Youth and Sports, Astrit Haraqija, and three other defendants.

Following the transfer of Judge Krasniqi-Jashanica to the General Department, this case was assigned to Judge Fatime Dermaku, who was assigned to the Serious Crimes Department.

“We inform you that Judge Naime Krasniqi has been appointed to the General Department – Division for Criminal Matters, while the case in question will be tried by Judge Fatime Dermaku, who by decision of the President of the Court has been appointed to the Department for Serious Crimes”, said the spokesperson of the Basic Court in Prishtina, Mirlinda Gashi, for “Oath of Justice” regarding this issue.

Judge Dermaku had scheduled March 11, 2021 for the next hearing, but it failed because the defense counsel of the accused Izet Beqiri, lawyer Besnik Berisha, informed the court that at the same time and the same court has another hearing. , for which, according to him, the date of the hearing was announced earlier than in this case.

Otherwise, this case was tried by the EULEX mission, but after the end of the mandate, the case was transferred to the locals.

This case was then assigned to Judge Naime Krasniqi-Jashanica, who had not scheduled any hearing in 2018, on the grounds that this case was not a priority for the court.

After the case was transferred to the local judges, in January 2018, the first attempt to hold a hearing was made after a year, respectively in January 2019, but this hearing had failed in the absence of the four defendants.

Otherwise, in the initial hearing held on August 30, 2016, Ukë Rugova and others had pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. They were also acquitted at the hearing held on January 11, 2017.

The indictment of the Special Prosecution of the Republic of Kosovo (SPRK), filed on May 16, 2016, charges Ukë Rugova that during the period May 2011 to February 2014 he managed a criminal group by supplying individuals with EU Schengen visas, from the Italian Embassy in Prishtina. All of these visas are presumed to have been obtained illegally through distortion or corruption.

The other enacting clause of the indictment also charges Rugova with the criminal offense of Unauthorized Possession of Weapons, where a pistol and two cartridges were found in his residence.

The indictment, which was drafted by prosecutor Allen Cansick, states that the Special Prosecution of the Republic of Kosovo has received from the Italian Prosecution in Rome a copy of their visa file including the name of the former Italian Ambassador to Kosovo Michael Giffoni.

Along with Ukë Rugova in this case are also accused Izet Beqiri, Florjan Petani, Qefser Baholli, Astrit Haraqija, Fitim Beqiri, Azad Beqiraj, Liridona Beqiri, Kujtim Avdyli, Ragip Gashi, Visar Beqiri Hamza Beqiri, Azem Koskoviku, Edison Idrizaj Shaqiri, Hasan Shaqiri, Dritëro Voca, Valon Selimi, Fadil Ahmeti and Haxhi Islami.

The Prosecution alleges that this group, as it criminalizes, aimed to secure material gain in such a way that citizens are provided with Schengen visas by the Italian Embassy in Pristina.

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