Serbia Calls for Ensuring Safety of Witnesses in Ex-Kosovo President’s Case, Dacic Says


BELGRADE (Sputnik) – Serbian parliament speaker Ivica Dacic on Friday urged the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office to guarantee the safety of witnesses in the war crime case against the ex-president of the self-proclaimed republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, and his associates.

Thaci resigned on Thursday after a war crime indictment against him was confirmed. A key figure in the ethnic-Albanian separatist Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), Thaci was later arrested and transported to the Hague, along with ex-Kosovo parliament speakers Kadri Veseli and Jakup Krasniqi, as well as former field commander and lawmaker Rexhep Selimi on charges of murder, torture, forced disappearance and other crimes committed during the late 1990s.

“It is important to ensure the protection of witnesses, so that it does not happen, as in the case with [former Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush] Haradinaj, when all the witnesses simply disappeared, so in the end, he was released by a Hague court decision due to the lack of witnesses,” Dacic told reporters in parliament.

According to the politician, crimes against Serbs have still not yet been investigated in Kosovo.

“Just as we agree with the investigation and condemnation of war crimes in general, including in relation to the Albanians, we believe that this is the implementation of justice for the victims of the KLA,” the former Serbian foreign minister added.

The KLA was an ethnic-Albanian separatist militia that fought to achieve Kosovo’s independence from then-Yugoslavia during the 1998-1999 war.

In February 2008, Kosovo unilaterally proclaimed independence from Serbia. Serbia and numerous members of the international community, including China, Russia, and Spain, have not yet recognized Kosovo’s independence.

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