The Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague has published a more detailed version of the indictment of former Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, including more details of the war crimes and crimes against humanity he is accused of committing.
Thaci is set to go on trial, alongside three other Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) ex-officers, next month.
The latest version of the indictment against the former Kosovo President was filed by the prosecution on 27 February, and also discloses the names of a number of the ethnic Albanian, Serb and Roma victims in the case. The report also reveals details of alleged threats and pressure made against the KLA’s political rivals.
Thaci is set to go on trial on 3 April in The Hague, alongside former Kosovo parliament speaker and leader of Kosovo Democratic Party (PDK) Kadri Veseli; the former chairman of the national council of the Social Democratic Initiative (NISMA) party Jakup Krasniqi; and Rexhep Selimi, the former head of the parliamentary group of the then-largest opposition party Vetevendosje.
The indictment alleges that the four men committed war crimes and crimes against humanity as part of a “joint criminal enterprise,” with the time period of the crimes spanning at least March 1998 to September 1999. According to the indictment, the men bear criminal responsibility for close to 100 murders.
The indictment says the men sought to secure control over Kosovo by means including “unlawfully intimidating, mistreating, committing violence against, and removing those deemed to be opponents.”
The indictment also alleges that the men, as senior members of the KLA guerrilla force, had “superior responsibility” that makes them particularly complicit in war crimes and crimes against humanity carried out during the period. The men, reads the indictment, were allegedly aware of the violations, but failed to take action to prevent criminal activities or punish perpetrators of the crimes.
The four men also allegedly directly took part in the crimes, or gave direct orders for them to be carried out.
The indictment also reveals that the bodies of 12 ethnic Serb victims were found in 2005 in a mass grave.
On 17 July 1998, “a group of 11 Serb detainees were transferred to a room in the basement of a building in Malisheve/Malisevo, where two other Serb detainees were already held.” The detainees were then assaulted.
According to the prosecution, the detainees were then placed in a van on 19 July, and “driven to a nearby location where they were shot and killed by certain KLA members.”
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