Hashim Thaci faces possibility of being on trial for war crimes

SOURCESputnik

BELGRADE – Almost two years since the Kosovo parliament adopted the law on the establishment of the Special War Crimes Court, Pristina was visited by recently elected special prosecutor of the court David Schwendiman, where he spoke with the Chief Prosecutor Aleksandar Ljumezi.

Ljumezi offered Schwendiman full cooperation on the Pristina side. In addition to the Chief Prosecutor of Kosovo, Schwendiman also met in
Pristina with the head of EULEX Alexander Papadopulou and other representatives of the international community, and in the meantime,
according to the newspaper “Koha Ditore”, the government in Pristina has decided to allocate a million and a half euros for the defense of the former KLA (“Kosovo Liberation Army”) members, which was welcomed by Kosovo’s political parties.

Media in Pristina report that the key witnesses, with their families, were moved to Western Europe, US and Canada, and they, as noted, will certainly testify via Internet. Kosovo media also write that among the first on the defendant’s bench in the court could be found important political figures, as well as certain former commanders of the KLA, and it is also speculated that among them could be Hashim Thaci and his party colleagues.

Political analyst in Pristina Nedzmedin Spahiu said for Sputnik that something like this is not impossible.

He added that, as far as Pristina is concerned, there are no more obstacles for the job to be finished.

Dusan Janjic of the Forum for Ethnic Relations believes that Schwendiman should talk in Belgrade with politicians about principles and procedure of cooperation with the Special Court, and with the people from the Office of the War Crimes Prosecution about the details
of cooperation, primarily in connection with the documents that have already been delivered and in connection with the provision of
witnesses, writes Sputnik.

According to him, the main part of the job Schwendiman already conducted in Pristina, where is the majority of war crimes suspects,
but also the largest number of witnesses.

Schwendiman will in Belgrade meet with officials of the Government of Serbia, representatives of the Office of the War Crimes and
representatives of the international community.

Before he was appointed on September 1 as chief prosecutor for investigation of war crimes committed during the war in Kosovo in 1998
and 1999, Schwendiman was the head of the Special Investigation Team, which was formed in 2011 to lead an independent investigation into the allegations presented by Dick Marty to the CoE on human organs trafficking in Kosovo.

As EULEX prosecutor for the investigation of war crimes and human organ trafficking Schwendiman said at the time that there is an
intention to form a court for war crimes in Kosovo.

The newly formed court for KLA crimes will be based in the Hague, and in it will reside international judges and international prosecutors.
European Union supports this process and together with other countries that have contributed (Canada, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and the United States) finances the work of the court.

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