The Specialist Prosecutor notified the President of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers of his intent to initiate proceedings before this court, the Kosovo Specialist Chambers announced today. According to attorney Nebojsa Vlajic, it as a „clearly presented intent“ to issue the first indictments.
The Specialist Prosecutor notified the President of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers of his intent to initiate proceedings before the Specialist Chambers and requested that a Pre-Trial Judge be assigned in accordance with the Law – the Kosovo Specialist Chambers wrote in a statement today.
The President has therefore assigned a Pre-Trial Judge in accordance with the Law and the Rules of Assignment of the Specialist Chamber Judges from the Roster of International Judges to review indictments filed by the Specialist Prosecutor – the statement further reads.
The content of indictments remains confidential, unless and until confirmed by the Pre-Trial Judge.
This is a clearly presented intent to issue the first indictments, Nebojsa Vlajic, a defense attorney and solicitor on behalf of victims, told KoSSev.
„The public prosecutor intends to file charges against some persons and it is obvious that the prosecution cases have reached that stage. Therefore, he requested that pre-trial judges be appointed in the Specialist Chambers so that there is someone who would receive and act on the indictments,“ Vlajic said in a statement for KoSSev.
From November 2018 to date, the Kosovo Specialist Chambers has questioned hundreds of people. According to the Kosovo media, only 250 former KLA members have been questioned or summoned for questioning by the end of last year, however, no charges have been filed yet.
The Special War Crimes Tribunal for the former Kosovo Liberation Army members was formed to prosecute cases of crimes committed during and after the armed conflicts in Kosovo – from 1998 to 2000. The court is part of the Kosovo judicial system, but the trials will take place in Hague, Netherlands.
The court will deal with crimes committed by KLA members against civilians, Kosovo Serbs, as well as members of other communities, including Albanians who were allegedly accomplices of the Republic of Serbia’s regime.
One of the most important tasks of this court will be to shed light on the allegations made in the report of the Council of Europe’s Special Rapporteur Dick Marty, adopted in January 2011. Marty’s report accuses the KLA leadership, including current Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, of involvement in „human organ trafficking, abduction and abuse of prisoners“ during the Kosovo conflict.
Ever since it was established in 2015, this court was often criticized, while numerous attempts to obstruct its work were made by the former KLA members or in part by Kosovo officials and institutions.
Almost five years later, according to still unconfirmed information, hundreds of people were questioned as witnesses or suspects, and among them, a good number of Pristina officials – former KLA members.
According to the 2015 Kosovo Constitutional Amendment, based on which the Specialist Chambers was formed, the court’s five-year term expires next year, Radio Free Europe recently reported.
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