Initiative to abolish court for KLA crimes fizzles out
Eight out of 43 members of the Kosovo Assembly who supported an initiative to annul the law on the Specialist Chambers have withdrawn their signatures.Source: Tanjug
The Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor's Office, referred to colloquially as "the special KLA court," were set up in 2015 under the auspices of the EU to deal with the crimes committed by KLA ("Kosovo Liberation Army") members during and after the war in Kosovo.
Investigations into these crimes started after then Council of Europe (CoE) rapporteur Dick Marty submitted his report on "Inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo."
Last Friday, an attempt to schedule a session of the Kosovo Assembly that would consider the initiative failed, after which Assembly President Kadri Veseli announced that the winter break would last until January 14.
Tanjug is reporting on Wednesday that the withdrawal of some of the signatories from the initiative effectively means that "the several-day political crisis, where western diplomats once again played a key role, is over."
Kosovo Assembly member Ilir Dedaj told Pristina-based media that the remaining 35 signatures are not enough to schedule "any session."
"This ended with Kosovo's leaders losing their credibility," he said.
Tanjug said that late on Friday, Hashim Thaci, Ramush Haradinaj, and Kadri Veseli were a step away from succeeding in scheduling the session - before US Ambassador Greg Delawie showed up at the building and warned the leaders of Kosovo parties that they risked "serious international isolation" if the law were to be revoked.
Veseli, nominally the leader of the PDK party after Hashim Thaci became Kosovo's president, has been mentioned as a possible indictee of the court, along with a number of other former KLA commanders, including Thaci himself, and the current Kosovo PM Ramush Haradinaj, Tanjug is reporting.
The Pristina-based website Insajderi earlier in the week cited sources close to the court to report that the first group to be indicted would include Haradinaj's brother Daut and many others.
However, the agency said in its report on Wednesday, "no information has yet leaked from the court that would confirm these speculations."