lubjana gjecaj

Lubjana Gjecaj

Lubjana Gjecaj was born in Tropoje, Albania, on May 5, 1977, and at the time of the investigations, was living in Treviglio alongside her husband Dritan Gjecaj. Gjecaj was charged with art. 270 bis comma 2 of the Italian Criminal Code, as her conduct in the Sergio case was deemed as participation to a terrorist organisation. In fact, she contributed to the first meeting between Maria Giulia Sergio and Aldo Kobuzi as well as to the organisation of their wedding in September 2014. Moreover, she hosted the wedding party and the ceremony in her house in Treviglio.
The story of how Lubjana Gjecaj met Maria Giulia Sergio was revealed during a wiretapped conversation between Gjecaj and her friend Rudina Metani. Gjecaj disclosed that she had met Sergio during the festival of the Islamic book in the mosque of San Paolo d’Argon in 2014. They quickly became friends and Maria Giulia opened up to her about the idea of finding a husband and to do hijrah, and told Gjecaj that she was following the lessons of the Islamist ideologue Bushra Haik. Gjecaj then introduced Maria Giulia to Aldo Kobuzi in September 2014, a man who was looking for a wife to do jihad and later contributed to their wedding by hosting the ceremony and the wedding party composed of Aldo’s family: Baki Coku, Arta Kacabuni and Donica Coku.
The court documents reveal that Lubjana Gjecaj was also following Bushra Haik’s lessons and had been recruited by Marianna Sergio, who had an intermediary role between the ideologue and new recruits. Gjecaj later confirmed that Haik’s teachings contributed to her indoctrination and that she had also become a mediator, a role that facilitated the enlistment of her friend Rudina Metani to Haik’s study group. In a phone call with Arta Kacabuni, Gjecaj also admitted her role in the departure of Maria Giulia Sergio and Aldo Kobuzi to Syria but she also started doubting the legitimacy of the Islamic State, especially after the Charlie Hebdo attack in January 2015, ultimately repudiating Haik’s teachings.
Lubjana Gjecaj was convicted in absentia and sentenced for participation to a terrorist organisation to three years in 2016. Mitigating circumstances led to a leniency in her sentence, namely the repudiation of her association with ISIS during the trial proceedings as well as her harsh critique of Marianna Sergio and Arta Kacabuni’s radical beliefs. In September 2020, the court in Tirana sentenced Lubjana Gjecaj to imprisonment and she asked for her sentence to be served in Albania and not to be extradited to Italy, as she has three small children.