Case Name

Case name: Gnjilane Group (Ajdari et al.)

Case Number

КТRZ 16/08

Broj žrtava

Victims: 80

Number of accused

Defendants: Fazli Ajdari Idriz Aliju Rexhep Aliju Sadik Aliju Burim Fazliju Faton Hajdari Ferat Hajdari Samet Hajdari Ramadan Halimi Ahmet Hasani Nazif Hasani Agush Memishi Šefqet Musliju Shemsi Nuhiju Shaqir Shaqiri Selimon Sadiku Kamber Sahiti

Ranking the Accused

Defendants' ranks: Middle military (Fazli Ajdari) Lower military (all others)

Indictment date

11. August 2009. years

Case Phase

Case status: finally resolved

Duration of the procedure from the beginning of the trial

5 years 3 months

Number of examined witness

82

Date and outcome of the first instance verdict

21. January 2011. years
First-instance judgment / years in prison: Agush Memishi, Samet Hajdari, Selimon Sadiku: 15 each Faton Hajdari, Ahmet Hasani, Nazif Hasani, Burim Fazliju: 10 each Ferat Hajdari, Kamber Sahiti: 8 each

Date and outcome of the decision of the Appellate Court

6. January 2012. years
Decision on appeal: First instance judgment abolished, case remanded for new trial

Date and outcome of the verdict in the repeated trial

5. September 2012. years
Judgment upon repeated proceedings / years in prison: Samet Hajdari: 15 Ahmet Hasani, Nazif Hasani: 13 each Burim Fazliju: 12 Agush Memishi, Selimon Sadiku, Faton Hajdari: 10 each Sadik Aliju, Ferat Hajdari, Kamber Sahiti: 8 each Shefqet Musliu: 5 Fazli Ajdari, Rexhep Aliju, Shaqir Shaqiri, Idriz Aliju, Shemsi Nuhiju, Ramadan Halimi (trial in absentia): acquitted of charges

Criminal offence

Criminal offence: war crime against civilian population, art. 142 (1) in re art. 22 (coperpetration), FRY Criminal Act

Factual description

Background facts: Charges against the 17 accused - ethnic Albanians from the Preševo/Bujanovac area and former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) - included the killing of 80 civilians and unlawful arrests of an undetemined number of victims who were then submitted to torture, maltreatment or rape. The victims were mostly Serbs, as well as some Roma and Albanian civilians suspected of being disloyal to the KLA. The crimes were allegedly committed in the period from mid-June to the end of 1999, in the so-called KLA Karadak operational zone in Kosovo (municipalities Gnjilane, Vitina, Kosovska Kamenica and Novo Brdo).

Procedural remarks

Procedural remarks: The initial indictment included 17 accused individuals. Proceedings against eight of them were suspended due to their unavailability to the Serbian authorities; two were arrested prior to repeated trial; the remaining seven were tried in absentia for the first time in the course of repeated proceedings, and they were acquitted of all charges. Following the trial completion, on 5 December 2014, the Supreme Court of Cassation (SCC) adopted the Prosecutor's request for the protection of legality. The SCC found that the Higher and Appellate Courts' decisions were in breach of essential provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code. However, this SCC finding had no effect on the case outcome, given that decisions upon requests for the protection of legality may not prejudice the accused persons' interests.