Kosovo assembly adopts law on special court

PRIŠTINA, BELGRADE -- The Kosovo assembly in Priština on Wednesday adopted a law to extend the mandate of the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX).

It also voted in favor of settin up a special court to investigate allegations about war crimes committed by members of the former ethnic Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).

A total of 89 assembly members voted in favor, 22 voted against, and two MPs abstained from voting.

The mandate of EULEX, with the exception of the Special Investigative Task Force (SITF) set up in 2011 and tasked with investigating the war crimes allegations, contained in a report by former special rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Dick Marty, is now extended for two more years, until June 2016.

The job carried out by SITF is to be taken over by the special court.

"Pressure"

The decision made in Priština today came "after great international pressure and the victims' families will finally learn about the fate of their loved ones," Serbia's Deputy Prosecutor for War Crimes Bruno Vekarić has said.

"It is an expected decision after great international pressure. I expect that with the creation of this tribunal the families of the victims will finally get the answers they did not get between 1998 and 2000," he told Tanjug.

The Office of the Serbian Prosecutor for War Crimes already cooperates well with the special investigative team of the EU, which is led by Clint Williamson, and expects good cooperation with those in the international community who are going to establish the court, he pointed out.