Left Menu
Development News Edition

Kosovo war crimes court arrests guerrilla veterans' leader, lawyer says

The Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague, mandated to investigate and prosecute suspects in war crimes committed during Kosovo's 1998-99 guerrilla uprising against Serbian rule, declined to comment on the reported arrest. Witnesses said Hysni Gucati, head of Kosovo's War Veterans Association, was handcuffed and bundled into an EU police car by masked officers in the tiny Balkan country's capital Pristina.

Reuters | Pristina | Updated: 25-09-2020 19:49 IST | Created: 25-09-2020 19:37 IST
Kosovo war crimes court arrests guerrilla veterans' leader, lawyer says
Representative image Image Credit: Wikimedia

European Union police on Friday arrested the head of Kosovo's war veterans group and he was being flown to a war crimes tribunal in the Netherlands to face as yet unspecified charges, his lawyer said on Friday. The Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague, mandated to investigate and prosecute suspects in war crimes committed during Kosovo's 1998-99 guerrilla uprising against Serbian rule, declined to comment on the reported arrest.

Witnesses said Hysni Gucati, head of Kosovo's War Veterans Association, was handcuffed and bundled into an EU police car by masked officers in the tiny Balkan country's capital Pristina. In recent weeks Gucati and his aides had published dozens of court documents with the names of suspects, witnesses and civilians allegedly murdered during the uprising, which eventually won Kosovo independence in 2008.

"He was never interviewed on war crimes charges and, based on the documents we saw, he may have been arrested on obstruction of justice charges," Tome Gashi, lawyer for the War Veterans' Association, told Reuters. Earlier this week the tribunal prosecutor's office condemned the veterans association's release of the case documents as an attempt to "undermine the proper administration of justice".

It said it was committed to "vigorously investigating and prosecuting" people who sought to expose potential witnesses. The Specialist Chamber was set up in The Hague in 2015 to handle cases of alleged atrocities by Kosovo Liberation Army guerrillas during the uprising.

Kosovo-based investigations have been foiled by widespread intimidation in a country where clan loyalties run deep and former rebels are lionised. The tribunal was set up in the Netherlands partly to help ensure protection of witnesses. EU police in Kosovo are empowered to make arrests related to war crimes charges if requested by the Hague-based court.

In June, the chamber's prosecutor charged Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, the former guerrilla commander, with war crimes and crimes against humanity including nearly 100 murders. A judge has yet to confirm the indictment, a step required for a trial. Thaci denies wrongdoing and remains in Kosovo.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

New farm bills in India: Focusing on farms or farmers?

... ...

Kenya’s COVID-19 response: Chaos amid lack of information

Confusing numbers and scanty information on how effective curfews and lockdowns have been in breaking transmission have amplified coordination and planning challenges in Kenyas response to COVID-19. Without accurate data, it is impossible t...

Farkhad Akhmedov: Calculating the price of impunity from the law

In insistences such as the battle over the Luna, Akhmedov has resorted to extreme legal machinations to subvert the High Courts decision and keep his assets from being seized. ...

Guinea’s elections hearken back to the autocracy and violence of its past

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Official: Roadside bomb killed 9 in eastern Afghanistan

A roadside bomb killed nine people in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, after it struck a minivan full of civilians, a local official said. Ghazni province police spokesman Ahmad Khan Sirat said that a second roadside bomb killed two policem...

L-G Mathur launches 100-day campaign to provide assured water supply to schools in Ladakh

Ladakh Lt Governor R K Mathur on Saturday launched the 100-day campaign to provide assured portable water supply to schools and anganwadi centres in the Union Territory, an official spokesman said. He also promised opening of drinking water...

Man shot dead in Bikaner, his bag carrying cash snatched

Unidentified masked men shot dead a trader in Rajasthans Bikaner district and fled away with his bag stashed with cash, police said Saturday. The incident happened late Friday night when incense stick manufacturer Giriraj Agarwal, 40, was ...

Guinea's Conde wins presidency with 59.5% of vote

Guineas President Alpha Conde won the Oct. 18 election with 59.5 of the vote, according to a full preliminary tally from the election commission on Saturday.The victory, which requires confirmation by the Constitutional Court, gives a third...

Give Feedback