KWN against Retrial of Murderer Pjetër Nrecaj’s case

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Today, on June 24, the Supreme Court returned to retrial the case of Pjetër Nrecaj, which is serving a life sentence for the murder of this wife, Valbona-Marku Nrecaj, and their 9-year old daughter, in August 2018.

Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) through this Press Release condemns this decision of the Supreme Court, recalling to the public that Pjetër Nrecaj deliberately using a fire gun took the life of his wife Valbona-Marku Nrecaj, and their daughter. Furthermore, before committing the premeditated murder, he had sent threating phone messaged to the late Valbona-Marku Nrecaj, after which messaged he committed the murder. There was also a lawsuit against Pjetër Nrecaj, for the possession, control, and unauthorized weapons possession. At the very moment of the murder, according to the eyewitnesses, present were also the other children of this couple, which could also suffer from the shooting of Pjetër Nrecaj. The Court of Appeal rightly sentenced him to life imprisonment for these acts.

However, today the Supreme Court in its reasoning for this retrial, states that “the first instance verdict contains essential violations of the provisions of criminal procedure and that the Second Instance Court while accepting these defects in guilty plea procedure, it was obliged to review and reject the judgment, and not to move on with this violation, which is present and also limits legal qualification, since it may be the case of serious murder under Article 179 par. 1 subparagraph 1.11 of the KPC, exclusively if two or more premeditated murder were committed”.

Reminding the Supreme Court that the Penal Code, Article 44.par.1 states that: “The law may foresee a life sentence for the most serious criminal offenses committed in extremely severe or for offenses that have caused very serious damages, whereas lifelong imprisonment shall be imposed on any person who according to Article 179, par.1, sub.1.1 deprives a child of his or her life, and according to Article 1.3 deprives a family member of his or her life.

KWN considers that the retrial for such cases directly affects the loss of trust in the justice system for potential victims of domestic violence and their family members. The punishment of murders, especially of those who are legally recognized as domestic violence recidivists, such as the case of Pjetër Nrecaj (reminding that he has been in detention since in the presence of the children he conducted domestic violence against the deceased) shows that the justice system protects the victims of domestic violence and that the murder as a consequence of this violence is not tolerated.

Therefore, we demand the Supreme Court not to change the verdict of the Court of Appeal, taking into account all the legal aspects, as well as social and moral values which are in compliance with the life imprisonment sentence for double murder.