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Four Sentenced In Kosovo For 2016 Parliament Attack

Frasher Krasniqi
Frasher Krasniqi

A court in Kosovo has sentenced four opposition figures, including a lawmaker, to prison terms after their convictions for taking part in an attack last year on the parliament building in Pristina.

The court on November 17 sentenced the men to prison terms ranging from two to eight years for the attack on August 4, 2016, in which a rocket-propelled grenade was fired at parliament.

No one was injured in the incident, labeled a “terror” attack by authorities.

Frasher Krasniqi, a member of parliament from the Self-Determination Party (Vetevendosje), was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Krasniqi wrote on Facebook: “For all these unjust judgments, sooner or later, those criminals who ordered these fabricated trials will be held accountable, before the law and before history.”

Atdhe Arifi was sentenced to six years, Egzon Haliti received 5 1/2 years, and Adea Batusha got two years.

The four have ties to the nationalist Vetevendosje movement, which has 32 seats in the 120-seat parliament.

A fifth defendant, Astrit Dehari, 26, died in November 2016 while in detention. The authorities ruled it a suicide, but Vetevendosje called it "murder by strangulation" and accused the government of failing to protect him.

The authorities said the parliament attack was intended to disrupt a vote on a border deal with neighboring Montenegro. Approval of the deal is a condition for Kosovo getting visa-free access to the European Union.

Vetevendosje opposed the deal, saying it cedes territory to Montenegro and would give more autonomy to Serb-held regions of Kosovo.

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