Kosovo athlete Akil Gjakova wanted by police over domestic violence

By Thomson Reuters Apr 16, 2024 | 3:10 PM

PRISTINA (Reuters) – Kosovo police asked for the public’s help in locating judo athlete Akil Gjakova, who is accused of domestic violence, police said on Tuesday.

“Kosovo police are asking all citizens who have information about the location of the suspect to notify the nearest police station,” police said in a statement with Gjakova’s photo attached, without providing more information on the charges. Local media said earlier that his wife had filed a police report.

Gjakova, 28, has won 62 medals in judo, including six gold, since 2011 in different international competitions, and was set to participate in the Paris 2024 Olympic games.

Kosovo’s Judo Federation said it had been in touch with Gjakova and believed in his innocence, saying he was outside the country and would hand himself to authorities when he returned.

Gjakova’s arrest warrant comes as the small Balkan country was shocked when a man killed his wife on Tuesday, shortly after another femicide last Friday when a husband killed his ex-wife.

The country’s President Vjosa Osmani declared a day of mourning on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Fatos Bytyci; Editing by Josie Kao)