Indictment filed against KLA group

PRIŠTINA -- International Prosecutor Robert Dean has accused members of the Kosovo Liberation Army's Lapska group of illegally imprisoning and torturing Albanian civilians.

The indictment, which was read out at today’s hearing, includes the name of former commander of the KLA Lap operative zone and Kosovo MP Rustem Mustafi.

Mustafi, aka Commander Remi, is also the vice president of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, led by the province’s prime minister, Hashim Thaci.

Also featuring on the indictment are former KLA Military Police Commander for Lap Nazif Mehmeti and KLA intelligence chief in Lap Latif Gashi.

In the new indictment, the KLA members are not accused of murder, as they were in the first court case.

In the initial trial, which the Kosovo Supreme Court subsequently quashed, Mustafa was sentenced to 17 years in prison while Gashi and Mehmeti were given ten and 13 years in prison respectively.

Naim Kdriu was also convicted at the original trial, though he was later killed in a traffic accident in 2003.

On Tuesday, lawyers for the defense called for the case to be dropped. The trial has sparked a media frenzy in Kosovo, and the courtroom was packed today with supporters and family members of the accused.