From: Exit Staff
Kosovo War Veteran Refuses to Recognize War Crimes Court’s Authority

The deputy head of the Kosovo Liberation Army’s (KLA) veterans association, Nasim Haradinaj has refused to acknowledge the authority of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office (KSC-SPO).

During the first hearing on Tuesday in The Hague, four days after his arrest in Kosovo, Haradinaj said the court’s term has already ended, and it was mandated to prosecute war crimes only, of which he is not accused.

Haradinaj and the head of the association, Hysni Gucati, were arrested on Friday, September 25, in a pompous operation, after they had announced that thousands of KSO-SPO documents had been delivered anonymously to their offices on three separate occasions. They were immediately transferred to the court’s detention facility in The Hague, Netherlands.

The SPO detention order states that they are suspected of “intimidation of witnesses, revenge, and violation of the secrecy of the procedure.”

In the first hearing against Haradinaj on Tuesday, the prosecutor said they are working to complete the charges against him as soon as possible.

His lawyer denied all allegations and asked for his client’s immediate release. He claimed that the court has no authority to detain a person on charges other than war crimes. The lawyer said they were not provided with the prosecutor’s supporting documents on allegations, but just with an arrest warrant, transfer documentation and COVID-19 protocol.

Haradinaj complained that his family had been informed of his arrest through the media as he was not allowed on time to talk to them.

“I do not and I will not recognize this court,” Haradinaj stated, adding that the court’s mandate ended on August 2, 2020. “I am here unjustly, you have violated the Constitution of my country,” he claimed.

Haradinaj will be detained until prosecutors file charges and a further court decision.