Vermont Bar Journal, Vol. 40, No. 2 Vermont Bar Journal, Spring 2017, Volume 43, No. 1 - Page 26

Kosovo 26 room, although Daka disputed this since he was not permitted to witness the search. He was then arrested and held in custody on suspicion of murder. Ballistics tests showed that the gun was in fact the murder weapon. And further in- vestigation showed that Daka did owe Hoti a large sum of money and that Hoti was de- manding repayment. Daka was then indict- ed for murder by the local prosecutor. During the investigation, Daka’s son, a police officer, was interviewed. He said that he had visited his father in jail and de- manded to know from his father if he had committed the murder. If so, the son would have to seek reconciliation with the victim’s family according to the ancient Albanian Code of Kanun, which authorizes blood re- venge unless there is reconciliation. Daka adamantly denied any involve- ment. He insisted that Hoti’s girlfriend was the real murderer, and that the police had planted her gun under his pillow. In fact, the investigation revealed that Hoti and his girlfriend had argued all that day, providing her with a motive. Daka retained a competent local defense attorney who had undergone some training in the U.S. He filed a motion to suppress the evidence obtained in the search. The case was transferred to EULEX because the actions of the local police and prosecutor were under scrutiny, and a EULEX prosecu- tor from Poland was then assigned to the case. I was on the trial panel along with a judge from the UK and a Kosovo judge. Since Kosovo criminal procedure did not allow for addressing the suppression issue pre-trial, it had to be addressed at the trial itself, and the parties agreed that this issue would be the immediate focus. The local prosecutor and numerous police officers were then subpoenaed to testify about the circumstances of the search, and they were outraged that their actions were being called into question for the very first time, especially by a panel with two foreigners. We noticed every day that two burley look- ing young men were sitting in the front row and glaring at us. We learned that these were the loan shark’s sons. After hearing the evidence, we agreed unanimously that the search was illegal. There was no written search warrant or ver- bal order, nor did any of the exceptions out- lined in the procedure code apply, such as consent or exigent circumstances. We then declared the murder weapon inadmissible. Without the murder weapon, the prosecu- tion’s case collapsed and we rele