In-short | Justice

Sali Mekaj’s indictment up for review

By - 25.05.2017

Appeals court allows its former head to object to his indictment

On May 17, the Appeals Court made the decision to put up for review the confirmation of the indictment of the Court’s former head, Sali Mekaj, who is accused of misuse of his position in the public office on two cases. Mekaj was arrested in his office on July 20th, 2015, while still was head of the Appeals Court.

The first case involves V.G., the wife of a person who is currently detained for inciting murder, who Mekaj is said to have entered into an extramarital affair with. According to accusations made by the Special Prosecution of Kosovo and published across the media, Mekaj is suspected of negotiating a 20,000 dollar bribe for the release of V.G’s husband. In the other case, Mekaj is accused of mediating a usury case involving his nephew, Asdren Mekaj, while head of the Appeals Court.

The decision to review the indictment’s confirmation means that the Appeals Court has again enabled Mekaj’s defense team to oppose incriminating evidence set out against their client. If the Basic Court rejects the indictment launched by special prosecutor Drita Hajdari, Mekaj could be set free.

The news was confirmed for K2.0 by Appeals Court spokesman, Arber Jashari. “Regarding this case, the Appeals Court made a decision on May 17, in which the Serious Crimes panel approved defendant Sali Mekaj’s complaint,” Jashari told K2.0. “The Basic Court indictment, that was released on Feb 16 and ruled out opposing indictment evidence and rejected any chance of release, has been annulled. The issue has been brought back to the first degree, a review.”

Mekaj’s session is being held behind closed doors, after the Basic Court of Prishtina decided to exclude the public, justifying this decision through personal interests of the involved parties. This decision has been criticized by the media and local and international civil societies.

Earlier this week, K2.0 published an article that explained the media blackout that surrounds the Mekaj case, due to the exclusion of public opinion and media from the initial court session. You can read that article here.K

Feature image: Atdhe Mulla / K2.0.

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