The indictment against 15 former KLA members, known as the “Drenica Group”, accused of crimes against non-Albanian civilians in 1998-99 in Kosovo, included the assassination of Serbian police commander in Glogovac, ”Blic” reports.
Maurizio Salustro, an EULEX international prosecutor, raised an indictment at the Basic Court in Kosovska Mitrovica on Friday against 15 former members of the paramilitary unit of ethnic Albanians known as the Drenica Group, which was part of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), for the crimes committed against civilians in 1998-1999.
According to a release issued by the EULEX, they are charged with criminal offences of war crimes against civilian population, including torture, mistreatment of prisoners, and murder, allegedly committed in a KLA detention centre in the village of Likovac in the municipality of Srbica in the central part of Kosovo-Metohija in 1998.
The Associated Press notes that the list of indictees includes Sami Ljustaku, a senior official of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (DPK) led by Kosovo Prime Minister Hasim Thaci, who is now the mayor of the town of Srbica, and Sulejman Seljimi, Kosovo’s ambassador to Albania, as well as one of Thaci’s bodyguards.
Ljustaku is suspected of executing a fellow ethnic Albanian by putting a pistol to the prisoner’s head behind his left ear and shooting him, which was confirmed by protected Witness D, says the indictment obtained by The Associated Press.
”The man fell to his knees and Sami shot him twice more in the head”, the protected witness told to the prosecution, adding that Ljustaku allegedly killed the ethnic Albanian because “the man killed his cousin”.
Sulejman Seljimi, also known under the nickname Sultan, faces four charges of war crimes, including beating detainees with fists and wooden sticks, and being part of a group that pinched a detainee’s “genitals with an iron tool and subsequently dragged him on the floor with it,” says the indictment.
Salustro also alleged that two other suspects, Sahit Jasari and Sabit Geci, used a chainsaw to behead a Serbian policeman, Ivan Bulatovic, in June 1998.
The indictment says Bulatovic was taken off a train by three KLA members in May 1998, according to a statement given by his wife, Mira Bulatovic, to EU justice officials in 2012.
Bulatovic was kept in detention and frequently walked to a village square by Jasari for people to beat him in public, according to a witness described in the indictment as Witness C.
Sometime in June 1998, Geci “took the chainsaw and beheaded Bulatovic with it. Then Geci made some deep cuts into Bulatovic’s chest, thigh and legs,” according to the witness testimony quoted in the indictment.
EULEX Spokesman Blerim Krasnici has said that nine of the suspects are in detention, and the others are barred from leaving Kosovo, the AP reported.
According to a report by Dick Marty, which was adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the Drenica Group of the KLA, which was led by Thaci, was involved in abductions and human organ trafficking, trafficking in drugs, humans and weapons.
According to the proofs of the Serbian War Crimes Prosecutor’s Office, including the footage from the detention camp in Likovac which was made by KLA members in May 1998, the Drenica Group abducted at least 30 Serb and 11 ethnic Albanian civilians, as well as several policemen, in attacks on villages and towns.