From: Die Morina van Uijtregt
Hague Court Rejects Interim Release for Kosovo’s Ex- President, Hashim Thaci

The pre- trial judge of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC), Nicolas Guillou rejected the request for interim release for the former President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci.

Guillou concluded that there was a risk that Thaci will “abscond, obstruct the progress of  proceedings, or commit further crimes against those perceived as being opposed to the KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army), including witnesses who provided or could provide evidence in the case and/or are due to appear before the SC (Specialist Chambers).”

The Hague- based court also denied applications for interim release for Thaci’s co- defendants, Kadri Veseli, Rexhep Selimi and Jakup Krasniqi.

Hashim Thaci, former Parliament Speaker Kadri Veseli, former Parliament Speaker Jakup Krasniqi and former MP Rexhep Selimi are indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Four of them were members of the KLA Headquarters holding high leading positions during the war.

The charges against them consist of 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.

The prosecution describes the accused as members of a “joint criminal enterprise” sharing the common purpose to gain and exercise control over Kosovo.

All of them plead not guilty.

Prosecution claimed the trial against KLA leaders could start in September, but it was strongly opposed by the defense, which suggested that it will take more than eighteen months to begin investigation in the case.

The defense claimed that prosecution’s suggestion would lead to an unfair trial.