Kosovo Court Demands Changes to Veterans’ List Indictment

Palata pravde u Prištini, Foto: Athe Mula
The Justice Palace in Pristina. Photo: Atdhe Mulla.

Pristina Basic Court sent a controversial indictment charging 12 former members of the government’s commission for verifying former Kosovo guerrillas back to the prosecution for clarification.

The commission members are accused of misusing their official position or authority amid claims that the list of veterans verified by then commission contains thousands of people who never actually fought for the Kosovo Liberation Army during the war with Serbian forces.

One of the indicted is Agim Ceku, a former KLA commander, former prime minister of Kosovo and former Kosovo Security Force minister who was the head of the commission.

The indictment also proposed that the court takes action to stop the payment of pensions received illegally by verified KLA veterans until the end of the criminal proceedings.

Pristina Basic Court said that factual descriptions in the indictment were confusing and require corrections and clarifications from the Special Prosecution in order to avoid delays and obstacles in the process.

“It was decided that the indictment should be returned to the Special Prosecution Office of Kosovo to be made more precise and clarified as it did not comply with Article 241 paragraph 1 item 1.4 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of Kosovo,” Pristina Basic Court said in a statement on Wednesday.

The allegations about fake KLA veterans becoming eligible for benefits have caused controversy in Kosovo.

Former KLA fighters from the guerrilla force’s Dukagjini Zone, where Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj was a commander during the war, staged a protest on September 27 and gave a ten-day ultimatum to the Kosovo prosecution to withdraw the indictment.

Special prosecutor Elez Blakaj, who investigated alleged falsifications in the war veterans’ list, resigned in August, claiming that he had been under threat from “known and unknown people” who wanted him to drop the probe.

Blakaj’s resignation caused civil society activists to demand that the chief prosecutor step down.

Two MPs have been arrested for allegedly intimidating ex-prosecutor Blakaj – Shkumbin Demaliaj from Haradinaj’s Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK and Milaim Zeka from the Social Democratic Initiative, NISMA.

Read more:

Kosovo Indicts 12 over Falsified War Veterans’ Lists

Kosovo MP Arrested for ‘Intimidating Prosecutor’

Protesting Kosovo War Veterans Give Ultimatum to Prosecutors

Balkan Insight

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