Haraqija, Astrit (contempt)

At the time of the filing of the indictment against him on 8 January 2008, Astrit Haraqija was the Minister for Culture, Youth and Sport of Kosovo. He is one of the three co-founders of the “Defence Committee for Ramush Haradinaj” whose declarer purpose it is “to gather funds for the defence of former Prime-Minister”.

In its judgment of 17 December 2008, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) convicted Astrit Haraqija, a former Kosovar Minister and Bajrush Morina, his assistant, for contempt of court for pressuring a witness in 2007 not to testify against Ramush Haradinaj. They were sentenced to five months’ and three months’ imprisonment, respectively.

The Trial Chamber held that in n July 2007 Astrit Haraqija and Bajrush Morina tried to persuade a protected witness, witness PW, not to testify against Ramush Haradinaj, including telling the witness that other people who had testified in the case before the ICTY were subsequently killed. The witness refused to succumb to the pressure and eventually testified at the trial.

On 3 April 2008, Trial Chamber I acquitted Ramush Haradinaj and Idriz Balaj of all charges but noted nonetheless “the significant difficulties encountered by the Chamber in securing testimony of a large number of witnesses” during the trial.

Kosovo journalist found guilty of contempt
Research/ miscellaneous (Research Document)
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