Longstanding impunity for crimes against humanity in Kosovo will be challenged after today’s announcement that former leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) will be indicted for the abduction, inhumane treatment and killing of Kosovo Serbs and ethnic Albanians believed to oppose the KLA in 1999, Amnesty International said today.
In a statement for the Special Investigative Task Force, established by the EU, Chief Prosecutor Clint Williamson outlined charges to be brought against senior KLA officials.
“This is hopefully a step towards justice for the families of up to 400 Kosovo Serbs believed to have been abducted by the KLA, and subsequently transferred to Albania, where they are alleged to have been killed,” said Sian Jones, Amnesty International’s researcher on Kosovo.
In a welcome move, the Chief Prosecutor recognized the widespread and systematic nature of the abductions and murders, and assured that former senior KLA officials will be indicted for crimes against humanity.
However, the Chief Prosecutor has been unable to issue indictments against the as-yet unnamed suspects, as the specialized court being established to try the suspects, outside of Kosovo, will not open until 2015.
“The European Union, and the Kosovo authorities, must now act immediately to ensure that the specialized court is established as soon as possible. Any further delay may well lead to impunity and the further intimidation of potential witnesses”, said Sian Jones, Amnesty International’s researcher on Kosovo.
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Lydia Aroyo, Europe and Central Asia Press Officer at the International Secretariat on +44 (0) 20 74135599, +44 (0) 7771796350 (mobile) or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.