Kosovo Liberation Army emblem. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Adam Jones.

Albania Arrests Kosovo Ex-Guerrilla for Extradition to The Hague

Dritan Goxhaj, a former Kosovo Liberation Army fighter from Albania, was arrested for alleged “intimidation during criminal proceedings” and is awaiting extradition to the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague.

Former Kosovo Liberation Army fighter Dritan Goxhaj was arrested in Tirana on Monday on an arrest warrant issued by the Hague-based Kosovo Specialist Chambers, which is trying ex-guerrillas for crimes committed during and just after the 1998-99 war.

Albania’s General Prosecutor’s Office said that Goxhaj is suspected of the criminal offences of “intimidation during criminal proceedings” and “obstructing officials in the performance of official duties”.

No more details of the alleged crimes were initially provided.

The Kosovo Specialist Chambers said that it requested the cooperation and assistance of the Albanian authorities in arresting Goxhaj and surrendering him to the Hague court.

“Mr Goxhaj will be detained in Albania, pending a decision by the Albanian authorities on the transfer of Mr Goxhaj to the detention facilities of the KSC in The Hague,” the Kosovo Specialist Chambers said in a statement.

This is the first case at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in which an Albanian from Albania has been arrested.

The Kosovo Specialist Chambers are trying former KLA guerrillas for crimes including murder, torture and illegal detentions.

Among those already on trial are former Kosovo President Hashim Thaci and former parliamentary speaker Kadri Veseli, who were senior KLA figures during wartime. Both have pleaded not guilty to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office are part of Kosovo’s justice system but are located in the Netherlands and staffed by internationals.

They were set up under pressure from Kosovo’s Western allies, who feared that Kosovo’s justice system was not robust enough to try KLA cases and protect witnesses from interference.

01/08/2023 - 09:59

01 August 2023 - 09:59

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