From: Die Morina van Uijtregt
Judges Assigned, Kosovo War Crimes Court Set to Begin the First Trial

The Kosovo court in The Hague established to try war crime cases has assigned its first panel of judges following the completion of the case file against former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) member Salih Mustafa.

On Thursday, the court announced its President Ekaterina Trendafilova has assigned Judges Roland Dekkers, Mappie Veldt-Foglia, Gilbert Bitti, and Vladimir Mikula (reserve) to Trial Panel I, the first ever for this court.

The pre-trial judge notified that the case file against Salih Mustafa will be ready for transmission to the trial panel on Friday. Other cases against former KLA leaders are still in pre-trial.

A trial preparation conference with the parties will be held promptly by the newly established panel of judges, who will also set a time limit for any motions to be filed prior to the opening of the trial.

Mustafa, a former commander of a KLA guerrilla unit, was the first of the KLA leaders currently on trial to face a war crimes indictment. The court confirmed his indictment in June last year, and he was arrested about three months later, in September.

Charges weighing against him are arbitrary detention, cruel treatment, torture and murder. He pleaded not guilty on each count.