Haradinaj "undeserving as PM" - Kosovo "cannot be state"

Former Chief Prosecutor of the Hague Tribunal (ICTY), Carla Del Ponte, says Kosovo PM Ramush Haradinaj "does not deserve to be in office."

Source: Beta
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Carla Del Ponte (Getty Imagees,  file)
Carla Del Ponte (Getty Imagees, file)

Speaking for Tirana, Albania-based broadcaster Ora News, the Swiss jurist also noted that Kosovo "cannot be a state."

Del Ponte explained that Haradinaj has been convicted in the first instance by the Hague war crimes tribunal, while Kosovo does not fulfill the conditions necessary to be a state.

Speaking on the sidelines of a presentation of her book dedicated to the war in Syria, Del Ponte said she "still has a lot of work to do about the war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia."

She also questioned the existence of Kosovo as a state and said it was "not fair" Haradinaj was its prime minister.

"I mean, Haradinaj does not deserve the officet he hold today, he was sentenced by the ICTY, but unfortunately he was freed by the Chamber of Appeals. But I was no longer the chief prosecutor (at the time). It's hard to see him being sentenced in the first instance, and that Kosovo is now an extraordinary thing," she said.

The Hague Tribunal did not condemn, but twice released Haradinaj, Beta agency said in its report on Monday. After the first trial, Haradinaj was acquitted of crimes in Kosovo in 2008, after which the Appeals Chamber annulled and ordered a new trial, but he was acquitted in the repeated trial as well.

Del Ponte believes that Kosovo had a "privilege" to be recognized as a state, which, in her view, "was rather premature" and the reason why Kosovo "is still uncertain" as far as she is concerned.

The Swiss also spoke about the so-called Yellow House - a location in Albania where kidnapped Serbs and others were allegedly kept before having their vital organs extracted for sale in the black market - a topic she covered in her book "The Hunt: Me and the War Crimes" - and pointed out that the prosecution "tried to conduct an investigation, but could not do ot."

Based on the allegations in her book and on field investigations, former Swiss Senator Dick Marty, compiled a report presented to the Council of Europe, which has been accepted as the organization's official document.

The report served as the basis for an investigation conducted by (former) US prosecutor Clint Williamson, who announced in July 2014 that he had come to "the indisputable evidence to indict some former KLA ("Kosovo Liberation Army") leaders but that there was no evidence of organ trafficking."

In the course of 2016, Kosovo amended its constitution to establish the Specialist Chambers ("special court") that would try former high-level members of the KLA, mentioned in the Marty report.

The chamber's has jurisdiction includes "crimes commenced or committed in Kosovo" from January 1, 1998 to December 31, 2000.

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