Albin Kurti out of house detention (finally) and a clarification to both Robert Marquand of ABC News and Louis Sell

As you probably already know, Albin Kurti was released from house detention last week after  the prosecution consented to his release.  Yes, it’s about damn time and I’m glad that UNMIK’s Department of Justice has done the right thing.  Yes, it’s too little, too late.  But then again, to maximize my use of cliches in one post:  better late than never.

As expected, the onslaught of criticism of the international judge and the prosecution has continued — as it should — about the handling of Mr. Kurti’s detention woes.  Although the detention issues and trial are two distinct issues, the prosecution’s consent on the former has, as expected and according to groups “in the know” (which in the land of gossip, innuendo, and rumour do not mean much), implicate something fishy towards the trial.  Read some of the local papers here in Kosovo, such as Koha Ditore, which you can get online, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

But I was surprised to see an article published here by ABC news that said in no uncertain terms that Mr. Kurti is charged with “disrespect[ing] [] UN institutions.”  Huh? Where in God’s name did the author of that article, Robert Marquand, get that information? Koha Ditore?  Coffee grinds?  The side of a building?

It does not make any sense. I read through the indictment again — which is the charging document on which the trial is based — and I can’t for the life of me find anything that says he is charged with “disrespecting” UN institutions. The reason for that is quite simple. Mr. Kurti is in no way shape or form charged with “disrespecting” UN institutions. 

In fact, strange as this may seem to Robert Marquand or Louis Sell (former US diplomat and “expert”), there is no charge in the Provisional Criminal Code of Kosovo for disrespecting UN institutions

Don’t believe my word for it.  Look online and see the code for yourself here.  There is simply no such charge.  If you can find it, then let me know.  In the meantime, Lous Sell is right when he says that a “charge of acts ‘disrespectful’ to the UN is ludicrous.”

Of course, the only thing truly ludicrious is Robert Marquand and Louis Sell’s insistence that Mr. Kurti is charged with a crime for which he is not and for a crime which does not exist.  Maybe next time Robert Marquand and Louis Sell can get their facts straight.

When facts are blatantly mistated as they were in the ABC news article, then the other important things that were said in the article are lost.  And that’s too bad, as the import of the article had some very important topics.


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