The Secretary of the Kosovo Liberation Army [KLA] War Veterans’ Organization, Faton Klinaku said they did not undermine the work of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers [KSC], as the report of the State Department on Human Rights Practices says.
Klinaku said that the KLA War Veteran Organization requested for The Hague-based Special Chambers to investigate all crimes committed in Kosovo during the last war.
“Leading politicians and civil society leaders, particularly veterans’ organizations, publicly denounced the SPO [Specialist Prosecutor’s Office] and the KSC and worked to undermine public support for the work of the SPO and the KSC,” reads the report of the State Department.
“These efforts included public protests, a petition drive to abrogate the court, and a legislative initiative proposed by former president Thaci that could have undermined the KSC’s mandate,” it says.
The Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office were established in August 2015, with a five-year mandate by the Kosovo Parliament to investigate crimes allegedly committed by former Kosovo Liberation Army members.
KSC- SPO has jurisdiction over crimes against humanity, war crimes, and other crimes under Kosovo law in relation to allegations reported in the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Report on “Inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo” by Dick Marty.
“We only said that the five-year mandate based on Constitution of the Specialist Chambers has expired […] we requested for the Specialist Chambers to try all war crimes [during the war in Kosovo], Serbians to be tried too,” Klinaku said during an interview for the news agency, Ekonomia Online.
In November, KSC said that “the mandate of the Specialist Chambers and the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office has continued and shall continue until notification by the Council of the European Union of completion of the mandate”.
The head of the Kosovo Liberation Army Veterans’ Organization, Hysni Gucati, and his deputy Nasim Haradinaj were arrested by the Specialist Chambers in December 2020.
They are accused of revealing without authorization, information protected under the law of the KSC, including the identifying details of certain (potential) witnesses, on the occasion of three press conferences between 7 and 25 September 2020.
During this period, their office anonymously received investigation files leaked from the Specialist Prosecutors Office (SPO).
Klinaku says that by keeping them detained, the SPO is “playing games” as according to him they should investigate themselves.
“Those [leaked files] came from the Hague Prosecution, there is no other place where the files could come from,” he said.
He added that the KSC and SPO are not interested in justice, but only aim to justify the funds they spend.