Kosovo Supreme Court releases three bus bomb suspects held on UN mission's orders

19 December 2001

A panel of international judges in the Kosovo Supreme Court has ordered the release of three ethnic Albanians suspected of an attack on a public bus that left 11 dead, the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) said today.

The Supreme Court yesterday rejected the public prosecutor's petition for further detention of Avdi Behluli, Jusuf Veliu and Cele Gashi, who have been held for several months since the attack in February in Podujevo on the Executive Order of UNMIK chief Hans Haekkerup.

In September, their case had been reviewed by the Detention Review Commission, a special panel of international judges from outside Kosovo, to decide whether their detention was justified.

After considering evidence that could not be released in court, the Commission found justification for holding the three suspects based on Executive Orders and that there were "reasonable grounds to suspect that each of the detained persons had committed a criminal act and that circumstances existed which suggested the strong possibility of flight."

The judges subsequently ordered the three suspects held a further three months, until 19 December.

Florim Ejupi, the main suspect in the attack, escaped from jail in May from Camp Bondsteel.


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