July 17, 2024

Court indicts President Hashim Thaci, nine others in war crimes


Kosovo’s President, Hashim Thaci, and nine former fighters have been indicted by the court probing crimes committed during and after Kosovo’s independence war with Serbia.

While disclosing in a statement on Wednesday June 23, 2020, the Special Prosecutor’s Office in The Hague, the Netherlands, stated that 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.

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.

“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 reads.

“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 adds.

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.

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