Krasniqi testifies in Haradinaj trial

The Hague trial of three former KLA commanders continued with Jakup Krasniqi’s testimony.

Source: SENSE

Although Krasniqi is testifying as a prosecution witness at the trial of Haradinaj, Limaj and Brahimaj, the former KLA spokesman is trying to protect his former fellow fighters by saying that the KLA troops “never committed any crimes” in Kosovo.

Even if they had wanted to, Krasniqi went on to say, “they had no means or ways to do it”

The prosecution made a second attempt to get information about KLA crimes from a former member of the KLA Main Staff and its spokesman, with the same end result as in the trial of Limaj, Musliu and Bala in February 2005.

Krasniqi again said that the Main Staff had never received any reports about any crimes committed by the KLA troops. In his view, the reason is quite simple: there were no reports because there were no KLA crimes.

Explaining why he said it, Krasniqi said that the KLA members “had no means or ways” to commit the crimes. Since there were no crimes, the Main Staff did not see fit to establish mechanisms for disciplining any perpetrators, not even as a precaution.

The commanders of operational zones, the witness contends, were not responsible for taking such action.

In an effort to prove that the KLA did commit some crimes after all, the prosecutor showed the witness some newspaper articles based on the press releases from the Main Staff where it is stated that the KLA attacked Serbian refugee camps, and not only the police.

Trying to deny this, the witness first claimed that the press releases were “misinterpreted” in the media reports, and then explained that sometimes there would be “conscious exaggerations” in the press releases in order to convince the Albanian people that the KLA was a serious army, which it was not, in Krasniqi’s view.

The only KLA crimes that Krasniqi today admitted really did occur were the killings of the so-called collaborators – Kosovo Albanians suspected of collaborating with the Serbian authorities by the KLA.

At the trial of Limaj, Musliu and Bala, the witness had said that killing “collaborators” was not a breach of the Geneva Conventions and other norms of international humanitarian law.

Some of the victims listed in the indictment against Haradinaj, Balaj and Brahimaj were killed because they had allegedly collaborated with the Serbian authorities, the prosecution alleges.

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