„I’m pleasantly surprised. I was happy to hear the news! I believed that this would happen. We should now wait for the indictment to be confirmed,“ the former Serbian War Crimes Special Prosecutor, Vladimir Vukcevic told KoSSev regarding the news that the indictments against Hashim Thaci and Kadri Veseli were filed with the Kosovo Specialist Chambers.
In a statement for KoSSev, Vukcevic reminded of the merits of the Serbian Special Prosecutor’s Office during the investigation of the “Yellow House,” i.e. alleged KLA war crimes, before former Council of Europe Rapporteur, Dick Marty submitted his now famous report – after which the Specialist Chambers was formed.
He did not want to comment in detail on Kadri Veseli, emphasizing that the Serbian investigation was focused primarily on the clues that allegedly led to Hashim Thaci.
„I believed that the prosecution would initiate proceedings against Thaci. He was our main target,“ he said.
Vukcevic said that Thaci is a man who enjoyed „certain sympathies of the Americans“ after the war, adding that he also „enjoyed American protection“ at the time.
He recalled a trip he made to Albania with his associates in an attempt to get the support of the Albanian judicial authorities for the investigations that were conducted in that country at that time. Vukcevic also reminded of an unwillingness of the Albanian side to cooperate, as well as an understanding he was met with from the American side.
„When I presented our evidence and findings to the then US legal adviser at the embassy in Belgrade, Sam Nazzaro, it caused a great deal of excitement,“ Vukcevic said, adding that after that they had American support to investigate war crimes.
He also praised the work of the American prosecutor Clint Williamson, whom he knew. According to Vukcevic, after Dick Marty’s report, Williamson, as the chief prosecutor of the European Union Special Team for Crimes in Kosovo since 1999, also conducted an investigation.
Although Williamson claimed back in 2014 that he and his team did not find evidence to file an indictment for organ trafficking, he also revealed that his findings „completely match“ with Marty’s.
„I was the first to come to that with my team,“ Vukcevic said.
On the other hand, he also called for caution, recalling that are four more months until the six-month-long legal deadline from April 24th for the indictment to be confirmed ends.
Speaking about the possibility of the judge rejecting the indictment, Vukcevic said that it could happen, while expressing the belief that it would be confirmed because the prosecution had to have obtained serious evidence to even draw up the indictment.
The Kosovo Special Prosecutor announced today that it filed an indictment with the Kosovo Specialist Chambers against Kosovo President, Hashim Thaci and the President of the PDK and one of the most influential politicians in Kosovo – Kadri Veseli and other persons whose names have not been announced. According to the indictment, they are charged with “a range of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, enforced disappearance of persons, persecution, and torture.“
The indictment alleges that they are criminally responsible for nearly 100 murders. There are now only four months left from the six-month statutory deadline of April 24 for the pre-trial judge to confirm or dismiss the indictment.
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