Prosecutors Feared White House Summit Could Grant Thaci Support against Court, Says Florian Bieber

The Specialist Prosecutor’s Office announced the war crime indictment against Kosovo president as they feared he could be granted support by third parties to increase the pressure on the court to drop charges against him, according to Florian Bieber.

Bieber is a Professor of Southeast European History and Politics and Director of the Centre for Southeast European Studies at the University of Graz, Austria.

The indictment was announced while President Hashim Thaci was travelling to Washington, D.C. to attend a summit with Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic on a possible deal between Kosovo and Serbia. The summit would be hosted by President Trump’s envoy for Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, Richard Grenell on June 27.

Speaking to Albanian Top Channel TV on Sunday, Bieber speculated that prosecutors announced the indictment “as a preventive measure for possible actions by Mr. Thaci or others, against the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office.”

The move was related to the White House summit, as prosecutors “feared that the summit could lead to possible assurances” or “some kind of immunity” for Thaci, which would make the prosecutors’ work difficult.

Bieber thinks that this will not have any negative impact on the dialogue, as the White House summit was not coordinated with the EU.

He noted that Grenell started with big promises but then lowered expectations down to talks on economy.

In addition, Kosovo was heading for the summit after a series of internal political problems that didn’t provide for a good start.

Bieber said he expects prosecutors to have included strong enough evidence for the indictment to be confirmed by the court and charges to be raised against Thaci. “I would not dare to file charges against high-profile figures if I knew that they would not be brought before a court. I would be surprised if the case was not accepted by the court.”