The saga that is Albin Kurti continues. In an interesting article published by Vetevendosje, of which many think Albin Kurti is the leader of, the group attacks the ruling keeping Kurti in house detention. According to the group, the new conditions of his house arrest, which allows for free movement outside the house from 10:00 to 7:00 p.m., is simply the “freedom to drink coffee.”
I’m not here to challenge or criticize people’s drinking habits, but I hope Kurti — the intellectual activist to some, to others the babbling polemic — is not spending his time drinking coffee for 9 hours a day. The macchiatos are very nice in Kosovo, but really, how many cups can a man drink in a day?
Interestingly, as with many articles, it is what they don’t include that offers the most tidbits of information. Although the article below is a segment of a larger article about other issues (including his “forbidden speech”), I am informed by at least two independent trial observers that the following exchange took place between Kurti and the court:
Court: We are inclined to release you from house detention completely if you promise to return to court.
Kurti: I can’t make the promise to return to court.
Court: You don’t want to promise to return to court? Do you understand that we will release you from house detention and you can be free to come and go as you please so long as you promise to return to court?
Kurti: I made my position very clear.
Court: I want to be clear. Do you understand that we will release you, no house detention, nothing, if you promise to return to court?
Kurti: I don’t promise.
I think the above-exchange gives the below article a bit more context. One has to ask why the fact that Kurti rejected the court’s offer to release him carte blanche was not included at all.
Freedom to drink coffee
In this judicial session, the Italian Judge Maurizio Salustro decided that Albin should remain in house arrest but with lighter conditions, allowing him the possibility to go outside from 10:00 to 19:00. The rest of the time, police will remain at the door of his apartment. In addition, every day when there is a trial session, Albin will be under 24 hour house arrest again with police at the door as is now. It is clear that this softening of Judge Salustro comes as a result of citizens’ pressure and the increasing awareness of people about the control of Albin’s isolation from above. UNMIK through Salustro’s new decision wants to fill the titles of newspapers with the deceptive phrase ‘Albin is released!’ and thus to manage people’s discontent. Freedom for nine hours a day for Albin is just the freedom to drink coffee. Albin is as free, as Kosova is independent.