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Switzerland16 October 2002

Attempt to bomb Zurich offices of Kosovo newspaper Bota Sot

Reporters Without Borders today condemned an attempt to bomb the Zurich-based Kosovo newspaper Bota Sot and called for the identification of those responsible. The attempted bombing of the Albanian-language newspaper with a grenade hidden inside a package took place on 27 September but was not made public until its lawyers issued a statement on 14 October.

"This attack could have cost the lives of Bota Sot journalists," Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard said today, recalling that one of the newspaper’s reporters, Bekim Kastrati, was murdered last year. "We hope that the investigation will result in the identification and arrest of those responsible for this new act of violation against Bota Sot, so that its journalists may exercise their profession safely," Ménard said.

The law firm Bratschi Emch & Partner, which represents Bota Sot, reported that a powerful, Russian-made hand grenade concealed in a package was received at the newspaper’s office in Zurich on 27 September but failed to detonate when the package was opened. It was later defused by the Zurich police. Swiss federal prosecutors have been put in charge of the investigation.

On 8 October, police with the United Nations Mission in Kosovo arrested three persons in connection with the murder of Kastrati, who was killed in Kosovo on 19 October 2001.

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