Ex- political spokesperson of the Kosovo Liberation Army Jakup Krasniqi pleaded not guilty at his initial appearance at The Hague- based Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) on Monday.
He claimed that he was treated worse while being transported to the courtroom than what he is charged for according to the indictment.
Krasniqi is charged with six counts of crimes against humanity, namely: persecution, imprisonment, other inhumane acts, torture, murder and enforced disappearance of persons. And four counts of war crimes, namely: arbitrary detention, cruel treatment, torture and murder.
“I would like to state today that never in my life, not in a single case have I treated people in the way that I was treated from the building of the detention unit to this building,” Krasniqi told the court.
Referring to the confirmed indictment which among others mentions crimes against “Catholics”, Krasniqi said it was offensive to him and to his country.
“I have fought Serbia politically and I have never pointed at the civilian population. You’re trying in the indictment to divide Albanians in Catholics and Muslims. I am Albanian, I am not Catholic, I am not Muslim. This is offensive to me and to country,” Krasniqi said.
Jakup Krasniqi strongly opposed the fact that he and others indicted are referred to as a “Joint Criminal Enterprise” by the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office in the confirmed indictment.
“The qualification by the Prosecution that we are a Joint Criminal Enterprise is an insult to us and to our nation because we, for a long time in very difficult circumstances, in life or death circumstances, put ourselves in the service of creating our own state, in collaboration with United States of America, NATO, European Union and the United Nations,” Krasniqi said.
“And we, all of us together were a joint Liberation Enterprise and a state forming enterprise. While a joint criminal enterprise is not only the Serbs in Serbia but also their head in Belgrade and whoever supports the policies of Belgrade,” he added.
KLA’s ex- spokesperson recalled being convicted by “the criminal regime” of Yugoslavia in 1981 and 1982 for speaking out and being against them.
“But believe me they were more right than you here for the reasons I am here today. This is a great injustice that has been done to me and I will carry this burden on my shoulders because our people say “humans are stronger than rocks,” Krasniqi said.
By denying being responsible for any of the charges, Krasniqi said that he will bring concrete facts to prove it to the court.
“My presence here is a big injustice,” Krasniqi said.
“I plead not guilty, I have no single blame, no single faults and I don’t know how to put it otherwise,” Krasniqi told The- Hague based court.
All of them are detained by The Hague and waiting to face charges.
Krasniqi was arrested on November 4 after around a nine-hour raid in his house.