Kosovo’s President along with nine others indicted for war crimes

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Kosovo's President along with nine others indicted for war crimes
Kosovo's President along with nine others indicted for war crimes :File Photo

Kosovo’s President and nine others were indicted by a court investigating war crimes committed during and after Kosovo’s independence war with Serbia.

Court probing crimes committed during and after Kosovo’s war with Serbia indicts Hashim Thaci and nine former fighters.

A statement issued on Wednesday by the Special Prosecutor’s Office in The Hague, the Netherlands, said Thaci and the others suspects were “criminally responsible for nearly 100 murders” of Kosovar Albanian, Serb and Roma people.

Other charges include enforced disappearance, persecution, and torture.

The indictment is “the result of a lengthy investigation and reflects the SPO’s determination that it can prove all of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt,” the SPO said in a statement.

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Thaci commanded fighters in the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) during the war.

The indicted group also includes Kadri Veseli, former Parliament speaker and leader of the opposition Democratic Party of Kosovo.

The indictment issued on Wednesday was the first by the special tribunal based in The Hague. The court has been operating since 2015 and has questioned hundreds of witnesses.

According to the statement, the indictment is being reviewed by a pretrial judge who will decide whether to confirm the charges.

The prosecutor accused Thaci and Veseli of repeated efforts “to obstruct and undermine the work” of the tribunal.

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“Thaci and Veseli are believed to have carried out a secret campaign to overturn the law creating the Court and otherwise obstruct the work of the Court in an attempt to ensure that they do not face justice,” the statement said.

“By taking these actions, Mr. Thaci and Mr. Veseli have put their personal interests ahead of the victims of their crimes, the rule of law, and all people of Kosovo,” it added.

The 1998-1999 war left more than 10,000 dead and 1,641 are still unaccounted for. It ended after a 78-day NATO air raid.

Serbia does not recognise Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence.