Kosovo War Crimes Court Can Promote Justice on All Sides
Published in: Balkan InsightWhile eyes were fixed on elections in the United States last week, a president in Europe resigned to face trial for atrocity crimes committed more than 20 years ago.Kosovo’s Specialist Prosecutor’s Office formally charged President Hashim Thaci with war crimes and crimes against humanity related to the 1998-99 Kosovo war, along with three other senior members of the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, the rebel group that rose up after years of the Serbian government’s persecution and abuse.Thaci promptly resigned and was taken to The Hague, where the Kosovo Special Chambe...
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In the Balkans, COVID-19 measures may not apply to religious leaders
Screengrab from a widely shared video by Twitter user @DoturLui.The Balkans reacted in outrage at the sight of thousands of people queuing to kiss the mortal remains of the Bishop Amfilohije Radović, the 82-year-old head of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro who died of COVID-19-related causes on October 30.Mourners came, for the most part maskless, to the bishop's wake and funeral at Podgorica's Serbian Orthodox Cathedral by the thousands. In the small, little-ventilated room where his body lied in an open casket, priests and nuns recited litanies for several hours throughout the weeke...
Kosovo's President Thaci resigns to face war crimes trial
Kosovo's President Hashim Thaci resigned on Thursday to face a war crimes trial at a special court in The Hague, and was replaced by parliamentary speaker Vjora Osmani as acting head of state."A few moments ago I was informed that a judge has officially confirmed the indictment against me," Thaci told a news conference in Pristina. "I cannot appear before the court as president, so, in order to protect the integrity of the state, I resign now."Shortly after that, the president's office emailed a statement to local media saying that Osmani had taken over as acting head of state, as provided by ...
Kosovo's President Thaci resigns to face war crime trial
Kosovo's President Hashim Thaci said on Thursday that he will resign immediately to face war crimes trial at a special court in The Hague."A few moments ago I was informed that a judge has officially confirmed the indictment against me," Thaci told a news conference in Pristina. "I cannot appear before the court as president, so, in order to protect the integrity of the state, I resign now."An indictment drafted in April and revealed in June accuses Thaci and several others of "a range of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, enforced disappearance of persons, persecution, ...
Kosovo president resigns to face war crimes charges
Kosovo's President Hashim Thaci, a guerrilla leader during Kosovo's war for independence from Serbia in the 1990s, resigned on Thursday in order to face charges for war crimes and crimes against humanity at a special court based in The Hague.Thaci announced his resignation at a news conference on Thursday in Pristina, Kosovo's capital. He said he was taking the step “to protect the integrity of the presidency of Kosovo.”Thaci was indicted by a Kosovo court based in The Hague which was set up to try alleged crimes of former ethnic Albanian rebel leaders.A spokesman for the prosecutor in The Hag...
Kosovo's President Thaci resigns to face war crimes charges in The Hague
Kosovo President Hashim Thaci was detained at the Kosovo Tribunal in The Hague on Thursday, hours after he abruptly resigned to face an indictment from the war crimes court.The 52-year-old said he would step down to "protect the integrity" of the presidency after the court confirmed an indictment against him dating back to the 1990s conflict with Serbia, when Thaci was political chief of Kosovo's rebel army."I will cooperate closely with justice. I believe in truth, reconciliation and the future of our country and society," he said at a press conference in the capital Pristina.Thaci was later ...
Kosovo FM discusses diplomatic relations with FM Ashkenazi for first time
Kosovo Foreign Minister Meliza Haradinaj and Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi held a phone call for the first time to discuss establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries."I assured my Israeli counterpart that Kosovo is dedicated at full capacity to build close cooperation in all fields of common interest, also honouring our great common friend and ally, the United States of America," tweeeted Haradinaj, adding that she "confirmed to Mr. Ashkenazi our intention to open an Embassy in Jerusalem."During the call, the two ministers agreed that Kosovo will send a delegation to...
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Lake Trump? Disputed reservoir could be named after US president
Pristina (AFP) - In addition to his own golf clubs and hotels, Donald Trump may soon have a lake named after him following proposals to christen a contested Balkan reservoir in his honour.The lake in question is a 24-kilometre (15-mile) stretch of water straddling the border of former war foes Serbia and Kosovo, who both claim ownership and have different names for it. A huge banner appeared Thursday on Kosovo's side of the reservoir reading "Lake Trump", while another hung over a bridge thanked Trump for "bringing peace" following recent US-brokered agreements between Kosovo and Serbia. The t...
Kosovo war crimes court arrests first suspect
Prosecutors for aHague-based international tribunal investigating war crimes committed duringKosovo's1990s independence war have arrested their first suspect, the prosecutor's office said Thursday.Salih Mustafa, a former senior commander in the rebel Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), is charged with murder, torture, arbitrary detention and cruel treatment, prosecutors at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers said.Mustafa, 48, was arrested in Kosovo and transferred to the court based in the Dutch city, where he appeared before a judge and will now be detained, they said in a statement.The 1998-9 conflict,...
Next year in Jerusalem: the Serbian Embassy and Kosovo go on a pilgrimage with Trump
On September 4, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić met with the PM of Kosovo Avdullah Hoti in the White House, in the presence of Donald Trump, to sign the “Economic Normalization Agreements between Belgrade (Serbia) and Pristina (Kosovo)”. Trump celebrated Hoti and Vučić as “brave men” for signing the “historic” trilateral agreement. Closer analysis reveals this “historic” encounter as yet another PR gimmick of Trump’s in the runup to the US presidential elections. In a sense, perhaps this serves a purpose similar to the grandiloquence surrounding the recent Israel-UAE peace deal, which Thoma...