From: Exit News
The Hague Court Denies Claimants Victim Status to Participate in Trial against KLA Leaders

An appeals panel at The Hague-based Kosovo Specialized Chambers rejected the complaints lodged by several individuals claiming to have been victims of war crimes committed by former leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) Hashim Thaçi, Kadri Veseli, Jakup Krasniqi, and Rexhep Selimi.

The appeal decision of July 16 upheld an earlier decision of April 21 by the pre-trial judge, who had rejected the applications of several persons to participate as victims in the trial proceedings against the former KLA leaders.

The applicants had claimed that they had been victims of crimes against humanity and war crimes at the hands of the KLA, and that the pre-trial judge had erred in not recognizing their right to participate in the trial proceedings. The appeals panel ruled that their arguments did not support their claims.

The court stated that applicants had not provided sufficient arguments to show that they “fall under the material, geographical and temporal parameters of the charges, as specified in the Indictment.” It means that they presented insufficient evidence to show what crimes were committed against them by the KLA, when, and where.

As a result, the court ruled that the link between the crimes claimed by applicants and those of the indictment could not be established.

The four former military leaders became politicians after the war. They were arrested in 2020 and transferred to The Hague tribunal, where they are facing charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during the 1998-1999 war against Serbia.

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