A Hague-based special prosecutor indicted Kosovo President Hashim Thaci and nine others Wednesday on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during Kosovo's war for independence. The Special Prosecutor’s Office said the 10 suspects were “criminally responsible for nearly 100 murders” along with forced disappearances, torture and persecution of hundreds of others including Kosovo Albanians, Serbs and Roma.
The office says the indictment “is the result of a lengthy investigation and reflects the SPO’s determination that it can prove all of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt,” the release said. A special pretrial judge will review the indictment and decide whether to confirm the charges.
A U.S. State Department official said Wednesday’s announcement of the indictments was “20 years in the making” and “a step forward in the justice and reconciliation process in the Western Balkans … essential to advance the rule of law and justice for victims in Kosovo, as well as to move the country beyond this terrible period and join the Euro-Atlantic community."
The Kosovo Specialist Chamber and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office were formally established in 2016 in the Hague. They operate under Kosovo law but are funded by the European Union and staffed by international judges and prosecutors.
Just after the indictment was announced, Thaci canceled plans to come to the White House later this week for a summit with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic. Kosovo’s Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti still plans to be there.
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