Beqe Beqaj is charged with contempt of court. The accused has been transferred to The Hague and early next week will appear before a Tribunal judge

At the request of the Office of the Prosecutor, a Tribunal judge this afternoon cancelled the order for non-publication of the indictment against Beque Beqaj, a Kosovo Albanian charged with contempt of court. The indictment was issued on 21 October 2004. Beqaj was arrested early this week by UN police in Kosovo. SENSE has learned that he is being transferred to The Hague. He is due to appear before a Tribunal judge early next week to enter his plea to the counts in the indictment.

The indictment alleges that between June and early October of this year, Beqaj--on several occasions--threatened, blackmailed, intimidated and tried to bribe witnesses and potential witnesses linked to the forthcoming trial of Fatmir Limaj, Isak Misliu and Hajradin Bala. They are charged with crimes against Serb and Albanian civilians detained in the first half of 1998 in the Lapusnik camp near Glogovac. The trial is scheduled to start on 15 November.

The indictment alleges that Beqaj focused in particular on one potential prosecution witness, trying to make him recant his statements given to the OTP against Fatmir Limaj and Isak Musliu; to do this, Beqaj allegedly used threats, blackmail, and bribes. Beqaj claimed to be in direct communication with the two accused and to be acting on their behalf.

In the three counts of the indictment, Beqaj is charged with contempt of court, attempted contempt of court, or instigation to contempt of court. According to Tribunal Rules, the maximum punishment for the crime is seven years in prison or a fine of up to 100,000 euros.