Protection program in place for KLA crimes witnesses - daily

Witnesses who will testify about the crimes committed by the ethnic Albanian KLA in Kosovo "are already in the protection program."

Source: Danas, Tanjug

Many have been relocated "around the world," Belgrade-based daily Danas is reporting, adding that "the software with all the data about the cases of the (future special) court is fully protected and located in Brussels."

The paper said it learned from diplomatic sources that "more than 400 people have already made statements about KLA crimes, but it is most likely that about 30 of them will in the end testify before the court." The article notes that the court will have international judges and is expected to be formed by the end of the year.

The court will be located in the former Europol building in The Hague and will operate under the auspices of the European Union.

The Dutch government has announced that the cases will concern "serious crimes allegedly committed by the KLA against ethnic minorities and political opponents from 1999 to 2000," but that anyone who may be convicted will not serve their prison time in Holland.

The newspaper said that the Hague Tribunal (ICTY) and the Prosecution for War Crimes in Serbia "will cooperate with the court, once it is established," and quoted ICTY spokesman Nenad Golcevski as sayng:

"Only once this court has been formally established, will we be able to say more about possible cooperation and its modalities," said Golcevski. The paper added they received "a similar response from the Serbian War Crimes Prosecution."

The daily then goes on to quote Pristina-based journalist Milaim Zeka who said that Kosovo Foreign Minister Hashim Thaci, president of the Kosovo Assembly and his deputy Kadri Veseli and Xhavit Haliti, and Minister of Security Forces and former KLA commander Agim Ceku will be among those indicted.

According to the journalist, the list will also include independent MP Saip Muja, Vetevendosje MP Rexhep Selimi, another former KLA commander, Bislim Zurapi, as well as two representatives of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, "whose names he did not provide."

Albanian-language media in Pristina have also reported that the agreement to establish the court should be ratified in the Dutch parliament, and in the Kosovo assembly, while opposition members of that assembly "believe that this court is unnecessary, that its formation is unjust and that it represent an experiment on Kosovo."

On the other hand, said the Belgrade-based paper, Director of the Serbian Government's Office for Kosovo and Metohija Marko Djuric "hopes that the court will show more determination and efficiency than the ICTY."


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