SPO praises journalists who refuse to publish allegedly leaked documents

Specijalni sud Hag

Amid a three-week upheaval caused by an alleged leak of thousands of files from the Specialist Chambers, today, for the first time, the Special Prosecutor’s Office made a public statement – to confirm they received media inquires, to praise „ethical journalists“, and reiterate that they are committed to vigorously investigating and prosecuting individuals who commit crimes, „including the disclosure of the identity of individuals who may be called before the court or any information that could lead to their identification“. However, there is still no confirmation as to whether documents from this court were actually leaked.

„Over the last number of weeks, my Office has received many questions from journalists about statements made by the KLA War Veterans Association, which has on a number of occasions engaged in activities which I believe are aimed at undermining the proper administration of justice“, reads the Special Prosecutor’s statement.

„During this time, I have also observed the commendable professionalism and ethical integrity of Kosovo’s journalists and other public commentators, many of whom have spoken clearly about how such activities undermine the rule of law and the course of justice“, it also says.

„I want to take this opportunity to commend the ethical journalists throughout Kosovo who have refused to publish documents provided to them, as well as the multiple journalists who have voluntarily provided us with the documents they received from the KLA War Veterans Association and publicly acknowledged that participating in disseminating such information could be a crime under the Kosovo Criminal Code“.

The SPO is committed to vigorously investigating and prosecuting individuals who commit any such crimes, including the disclosure of the identity of individuals who may be called before the court or any information that could lead to their identification.

Meanwhile, the third batch of alleged documents from the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office in The Hague was delivered today to the offices of the „KLA War Veterans Association“ in Pristina. On the same day, the well-known Albanian TV station „Top Channel“ claimed to have received the same files which allegedly arrived straight from the Specialist Chambers.

According to the “KLA War Veterans Association,” in the past 15 days, unknown persons delivered to them several thousand documents that were allegedly leaked from the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office.

The SPO refused to comment on the case, while the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office of Kosovo confirmed that their colleagues from The Hague were conducting an investigation.

According to the Kosovo media reports, the investigators of the SPO also reclaimed the third batch of documents from the „KLA War Veterans Association“.

The president of this association, Hysni Gucati said at a press conference today that the investigators of the Specialist Chambers took the files that arrived in the offices of this association earlier today.

He also reiterated his previous claims that the investigators allegedly „admitted that the documents came from the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office“.

The association’s lawyer, Tome Gashi said the documentation was original and related to a criminal investigation. He also added that the police and the prosecution were not involved with the documents being delivered to the offices of the “KLA War Veterans Association.”

The alleged documents were also published by some media outlets. Top Channel published a part of the reported documents, claiming they were the original. This TV station also announced that it will do the same in the coming days.

„We received a complete file marked as confidential, which has over 260 pages, from a source in the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office in The Hague. This file forms the basis for an indictment by the Specialist Prosecutor. Top Channel will not publish any names or details that would identify the witnesses of the indictment of the Specialist Chambers mentioned in this file,“ Top Channel reported.

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