Balkans | Former Kosovo President Thaci testifies in The Hague, where he is on trial for war crimes

Home » Balkans | Former Kosovo President Thaci testifies in The Hague, where he is on trial for war crimes
Balkans |  Former Kosovo President Thaci testifies in The Hague, where he is on trial for war crimes

Speaking at a hearing in The Hague, former Kosovo President Hashim Thaci said he regretted all the victims of the war in Kosovo, regardless of their religious, ethnic or national affiliation.

Imprisoned since 2020, the leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) Hashim Thaci, Yakup Krasnići, Kadri Veseli and Recep Selimi, at the Special Court in The Hague, Netherlands, known as the “Office of the Special Prosecutor for Kosovo and its Chambers,” present their defense in the trial that began in April 3.

Stating that he did not accept the accusations and that he was innocent, Taji said, “I was a student in Switzerland when Yasar’s family was killed in 1998, I was a political refugee. I came back to help my country and joined the resistance. I feel sorrow and pain for all the victims of this war regardless of their affiliations. No Victims get justice when innocent people are persecuted. One injustice cannot be righted by another.” Use phrases.

Emphasizing that he will be a success for his family and his people in this new challenge facing him, Tashi said:

The KLA is made up of ordinary people, citizens trying to protect their country and their families. Thousands of families have lost their loved ones in hundreds of massacres. Our opponents were the Serbian army, police and paramilitaries who went on campaigns of killing in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Without this resistance, there will be no Kosovo. The citizens of Kosovo do not want war, it was imposed on them. They did what anyone who loves freedom would do. Kosovo was on the right side of history. Today, I am happy that the people of Kosovo live in a free country. Kosovo is a success story.”

Thaci said he regretted not being able to testify against leaders such as then-US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Kosovo’s first president Ibrahim Rugova.

Taji stated in court that:

“Everyone in Kosovo knew from the start that we would not be free and independent without the help of the international community and the United States. We supported justice, especially international justice. When the Dick Marty Report filled international media headlines with fabricated allegations that UC Kosovo and I were involved in organ trafficking, I immediately asked the international community to conduct an independent investigation. The international community said a special court was needed to lift the black cloud around allegations of organ trafficking. As a result of this process, the world now knows that organ trafficking does not exist. We now know that we have been acquitted of these charges. That sacrifice was worth it.”

Thaci also expressed his belief in peace, truth, reconciliation and justice, and hoped that this process would be fair, transparent and speedy.

Kosovo Special Chambers and Special Prosecutor’s Office

The Special Court, also known as the Kosovo Special Chambers and the Special Prosecutor’s Office, and the Special Prosecutor’s Office within it were established in The Hague, Netherlands in 2011.

This judicial body, set up to investigate and prosecute war crimes allegedly committed in Kosovo between 1998-2000, is made up of international judges and prosecutors.

Since the beginning of 2019, the Office of the Special Prosecutor has invited dozens of former KLA members to testify.

The first indictment against Taji and the three other defendants was confirmed on October 26, 2020.

The presiding judge, Charles Smith, stated that due to the excessive workload, the trial could take more than 5 years.


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