More than 60 ex-KLA to be indicted for war crimes - report
Daut Haradinaj - the brother of Kosovo PM Ramush Haradinaj - and Azem Syla will be among those indicted by the Kosovo Specialist Chambers ("special court").Source: RTS
RTS reported this on Monday, citing the Pristina-based website Insajderi.
The court has been set up to deal with the crimes committed by members of the ethnic Albanian KLA ("Kosovo Liberation Army") in Kosovo and Metohija.
Mere days after Kosovo's president and prime minister, Hashim Thaci and Ramush Haradinaj, tried to revoke a law in parliament that allowed the formation of the court, Pristina media are reporting that more indictments have been prepared against more than 60 former members of the KLA.
The first indictments are expected to be raised in mid-February, Insajderi writes, adding that both Thaci and Kadri Veseli, who now serves as president of the Kosovo Assembly, are under investigation of the court's prosecution.
Thaci is being investigated as a former political leader of the KLA and the head of a transitional government set up by KLA commanders after the arrival of international forces in Kosovo in the summer of 1999. Veseli is investigated for his responsibility as a former head of KLA's intelligence service SHIK.
The list of persons who could be indicted appeared after Friday's drama in the Kosovo Assembly, when 43 deputies, backed by Thaci, Haradinaj, and Veseli, tried to annul the law allowing the formation of the courts - a move that was met with strong condemnation by the US, Britain, and the EU.
Insajderi writes that Azem Syla, one of the founders of the KLA - known in Kosovo also as "Big Boss" and "Big Uncle" - will be indicted based on an investigation into a series of murders of political opponents, that was until recently conducted by EULEX under the name "Blaca 2."
Sokol Dobruna will be brought before the Specialist Chambers as an executor of a KLA court that was active during and immediately after the war, the website said.
Daut Haradinaj will be accused for his role in the case concerning Lake Radonjic, where the bodies of about 40 Serbs, Albanians and Roma were dumped after they were murdered. A source cited by the website said the court "based its indictment on the fact that 39 bodies have been found in the lake."
The report further states that the court's prosecution is investigating about 500 murders of Serbs and Albanians that happened after 2000, including numerous unsolved killings of political rivals of the parties that came out of the KLA.
The special court was formed in 2015 under the auspices of the EU in order to prosecute former KLA members for the crimes committed during and after the war in Kosovo. Investigations into these crimes stem from a report submitted by then special Council of Europe (CoE) rapporteur Dick Marty.
During the trials of Ramush Haradinaj and Fatmir Limaj before the now closed Hague Tribinal (ICTY), the inability of the tribunal to protect prosecution witnesses emerged as the main problem. This was mentioned several times at the UN Security Council by ICTY's chief prosecutors Carla del Ponte and Serge Brammertz.