Courtroom of the Kosovo Tribunal in the Hague, the Netherlands, 09 November 2020. EPA-EFE/JERRY LAMPEN

Victims Names Made Public in Former KLA Leaders Trial

The Specialist Prosecutor's Office has published the names of alleged victims in a new version of an indictment against former leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army held in The Hague.

The Specialist Prosecutor’s Office, (SPO) published the latest version of the indictment against the former leaders of the KLA, Hashim Thaçi, Kadri Veseli, Jakup Krasniqi and Rexhep Selimi, on February 27, 2023.

The names of some of the victims – who are said to have been killed or forcibly disappeared  – have been revealed in the indictment.

According to the indictment, the crimes were committed between March 1998 to September 1999 in several locations in Kosovo, as well as in Kukës and Cahan, in Northern Albania.

The indictment states that these crimes were committed by KLA members against hundreds of civilians and other non-combatants.

The indictment further states that Thaçi, Veseli, Selimi and Krasniqi have individual criminal responsibility for crimes that were committed in the context of a non-international armed conflict in Kosovo and were part of a widespread and systematic attack against persons suspected of being against the KLA.

According to the indictment the names of murder victims in the municipality of Drenas include: Emin Emini, Ibush Hamza, Hyzri Hajrizi, Shaban Hoti, Safet Hysenaj, Bashkim Rashiti, Lutfi Xhemshiti, Shyqyri Zymeri and Hasan Hoxha.

In the Municipality of Lipjan, the following victims are mentioned: Bojan Cvetkovic, Zarko Filipovic, Dragoljub Tanaskovic, Zivota Todorovic and Dragan Vucetivic.

Meanwhile, in the Municipality of Podujeva, Osman Sinani is mentioned as a victim, while in the Municipality of Rahovec, Cvetko Pleviq and Hysen Krasniqi are mentioned.

In Suharekë, Latife Kololli and Rrushe Kololli are mentioned as victims.

In Malisheva, Srecko Vitosevic, Srdan Vitosevic, Aleksandar Stanojevic, Dusko Patronogic, Tomislav Baljosevic, Sasa Baljosevic, Dusko Dinovic, Cedo Cabarkapa, Dusko Dolasevic, Dorde Baljosevic, Radovan Staletic and Branislav Staletic’s names have been made public. 

Thaçi and three co-defendants are accused of a series of war crimes and crimes against humanity including illegal detentions, torture, murder, enforced disappearances and persecution from at least March 1998 to September 1999.

Most of the crimes in the indictment were allegedly committed at KLA detention centres in Kosovo and Albania.

Hashim Thaçi, Kadri Veseli, Rexhep Selimi and Jakup Krasniqi are being held in custody in The Hague since November 2020. So far, the Court has rejected any request for protection in freedom for the former KLA leaders. The trial against them  will start on April 3, 2023.

All four men have pleaded not guilty.

The Specialist Chambers are part of Kosovo’s judicial system but 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.

But the so-called ‘special court’ is widely resented by Kosovo Albanians who see it as an insult to the KLA’s war for liberation from Serbian rule.

and 01/03/2023 - 19:02

01 March 2023 - 19:02

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