Ex-KLA members placed under house arrest

PRIŠTINA -- A Priština court has placed members of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) Drenica Group suspected of war crimes in 1998 and 1999 under house arrest.

Radio Television of Serbia (RTS) has reported that former KLA Chief Commander Sulejman Selimi, Drenica Group Commander Sami Lushtaku and another five former KLA fighters have been placed under house arrest pending trial.

The RTS noted that the decision was made after a long questioning of the seven suspects. EULEX Prosecutor Maurizio Salustro requested that they remain in custody until the proceedings were over.

Around 200 former KLA members waited for the decision in front of the court in Priština. They were chanting the names of war crimes suspects and “KLA”.

Selimi came to the court from Tirana since he is currently Kosovo’s ambassador in Albania.

Lushtaku is a Srbica mayor and high-ranking official of the Democratic Party of Kosovo. Kosovska Mitrovica Regional Police Director Avni Zabeli is also one of the suspects.

Kosovo PM Hashim Thaci said that charges against Selimi and other KLA members were “unfounded”.

“The Kosovo government believes in justice but it also completely believes in innocence of former KLA fighters and commanders,” he said.

Selimi and other KLA members are suspected of war crimes against civilian population.