The initiative to abolish the law on the special court for KLA crimes is a well-designed plan of Kosovo President Hashim Thaci and “his band.”
This has been stated by the chairman of the Serbian National Assembly’s Committee on Kosovo and Metohija, Milovan Decun, who added that their plan was to send a message to the international community that they could destabilize the situation in Kosovo if they were indicted for the crimes committed by the KLA (“Kosovo Liberation Army”).
“With this move Thaci threw down the gauntlet to Washington and Brussels, because these centers of power were precisely the ones influencing the adoption of the law that formed this specialized chamber,” Drecun told RTS on Sunday, adding that this initiative showed Thaci’s and other former KLA leaders’ “real fear” that they could be indicted by the court.
Drecun recalled that the petition to abolish the law was signed by “16,000 (KLA) veterans” and emphasized that they represented “the power that the establishment of Kosovo was using to make threats, especially toward the western portion of the international community.”
“‘We will raise those 16,000 former terrorists who can do anything, if we find ourselves in the indictments’ – that’s their message,” Drecun said.
According to him, it is up to Serbia to continue to exert diplomatic pressure for the special court to “continue to work” but also “to do everything to collect as much evidence as possible about the crimes that have been committed.”
“The Serbian Assembly Committee has sent complete information about the crimes committed by the KLA,” Drecun said, adding that “if there is no justice for the Serb victims, reconciliation cannot be expected.”
A day earlier, on Saturday, Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin said it was “his personal opinion” that if the attempt in Pristina to abolish the court succeeded, Belgrade should pull out of the ongoing Kosovo negotiations.
All this came after an attempt failed in Pristina on Friday to schedule a session of the Kosovo Assembly that would consider abolishing the law. Kosovo Assembly President Kadri Veseli then announced the winter break that will last until January 14.
The session of the presidency of the assembly was to be held at the request of 43 deputies, who launched the initiative to convene an extraordinary session of parliament to abolish the law on the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (“special court”).
They did so after a petition with over 15,000 signatures, organized by war veterans of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army, was handed over to the assembly.
These former KLA members are demanding that the process of the formation of the court – which has already been established – returns to the beginning, or make legal changes so that “Albanians are not the only ones put on trial for war crimes.”
Among the international representatives in Pristina who spoke out against the initiative was US Ambassador Greg Delawie who wrote on Twitter, “A decision to revoke the Special Court would mark a turning point away from rule of law, Europe, and the United States. Kosovo, do not choose that future for your children!”
A decision to revoke the Special Court would mark a turning point away from rule of law, Europe, and the United States. #Kosovo, do not choose that future for your children!
The Specialist Chambers were established following a report by the Council of Europe, where then rapporteur and Swiss Senator Dick Marty spoke about “crimes committed by members of the KLA against ethnic minorities and political rivals” from 1998 until the end of 2000.
The petition for the law’s abolition was initiated at a time when the Specialist Chambers became functional in The Hague, and were ready to raise the first indictments.
Pristina-based Albanian language daily Koha Ditore wrote earlier that top representatives of Pristina authorities – Hashim Thaci and Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj – were behind the petition.
According to media reports, among those who could be arrested is Daut Haradinaj, the brother of Ramush Haradinaj.