Kosovo President Hashim Thaci says the Special Court (Specialist Chambers) for KLA crimes committed in Kosovo “cannot and will not be abolished.”
Tanjug carried this report on Thursday, citing the Pristina-based, Albanian language website Gazeta Express.
“The Special Court cannot be abolished and will not be abolished, this is the attitude of the state, not an opinion,” Thaci told a press conference on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the unilateral declaration of Kosovo’s independence.
The UDI was made by ethnic Albanians in Serbia’s southern province on February 17, 2008 – and continues to be contested by Serbia as a violation of its constitution, territorial integrity, and sovereignty.
According to its website, the Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office “have jurisdiction over crimes against humanity, war crimes and other crimes under Kosovo law in relation to allegations reported in the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Report of 7 January 2011.”
Both Thaci and Kosovo’s current prime minister, Ramush Haradinaj, are former leaders of the KLA (“Kosovo Liberation Army”) – and the Pristina-based website today recalled that Haradinaj also gave up on the idea to abolish the court – announcing this in an interview to Deutsche Welle on Wednesday evening.
The Special Court was formed on the basis of a decision of the Kosovo Assembly in 2015.
Thaci previously said that the decision to establish the court was “unfair” and that he agreed to it at the time because he was “under great pressure from the international community.”
The initiative – that at first had the support of what Tanjug termed to be “the three representatives of Pristina authorities” – i.e., Thaci, Haradinaj, and Kosovo Assembly President Kadri Veseli – had met with fierce criticism from ambassadors of “the Quint countries (Britain, Germany, France, Italy, US)” – and especially US Ambassador Greg Delawie, who “threatened that if the initiative were to be adopted in parliament, they would suffer serious consequences.”