(14/02/07) Process against Vetëvendosja leader Albin Kurti commences (Koha/Zëri)

Koha Ditore reports on the front page that the police have submitted to the court the case for the leader of the Vetëvendosja Movement, Albin Kurti. The paper notes that the international judge has announced the 30-day detention for Kurti. Officially the charges against Kurti are not known, but unofficial sources have told Koha Ditore that Kurti is charged on six penal acts, two of which are said to be incitement of violence and endangering the UN personnel in Kosovo.

According to Koha Ditore, if Kurti will be charged for endangering the UN personnel, then according to article 142 of the Provisional Criminal Code of Kosovo, he could be sentenced from one to ten years of imprisonment since the Code says that (Whoever engages in a violent attack upon the official premises, the private accommodation or the means of transport of United Nations or associated personnel, where such attack is likely to endanger his or her person or liberty shall be punished by imprisonment of one to ten years.)

Kurti’s hearing session was held without the presence of his defense attorney, because according to Vetëvendosja activists, Kurti refuses to have a defense attorney because Kosovo lawyers are also part of the UN system, which is not recognized as legitimate by Vetëvendosja.

Zëri also reports on the front page that in a session held at the Supreme Court of Kosovo, an international prosecutor has extended Kurti’s detention to 30 days. On the other hand, Vetëvendosja activists say that they will continue their work even without Kurti, same as we did the other times.

Paper also quote the statement of the Kosovo Clinical Centre in Pristina which says that another demonstrator who is still in difficult condition, due to the overload in the intensive care unit of this hospital, and with the request of his family as well as the assistance of the Kosovo Prime Minister Çeku, was transferred to Bondsteel.

Dailies also carry reaction of Vetëvendosja movement to the measure of detention calling it a political decision by a political court. An activist of “Vetëvendosja”, Visar Ymeri, was quoted by Epoka e Re as saying that the intervention by police, the murder of Arben and Mon, than then the arrest of Albin Kurti in his offices and the robbery and demolition of Vetëvendosja offices, presents an attempt of unfair government to frighten and to quieten people, who won’t stop to make their efforts for the freedom.

The daily press also reports that the Pristina-based Council for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) has called on human rights international organizations to monitor the course of the trial. The CDHRF also warned that a rigged political process was being prepared against Kurti, and asked for the resignation of the UNMIK police Commander Stephen Curtis, and according to them (CDHRF), that the case should not be closed with the resignation of Curtis, adding that Curtis is responsible for massacring peaceful protester, as well as KPS Commander Sheremet Ahmeti and the UNMIK police criminals from Ukraine and Poland who shot unarmed citizens

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