Kosovo’s president has been charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity


The President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, was accused of carrying out war crimes and crimes against humanity by the Special Prosecutor’s Office (SPO), an organ based in The Hague, the Netherlands, charged with investigating the crimes committed during Kosovo’s war of independence from Serbia between 1998 and 1999. The SPO said the allegations made in April but only revealed today were the result of lengthy investigations and added that Thaçi and Kadri Veseli, another politician Kosovars involved in the investigation tried to undermine the investigators’ work “in an attempt to avoid facing justice”.

The charges, however, have yet to be formalized: the final decision is now up to a judge from the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, a body based in The Hague.

According to the SPO, Thaçi and nine other former commanders of the Kosovo Liberation Army, who fought against Serbian forces during the war before NATO’s intervention, allegedly committed war crimes and crimes against humanity: among other things, killings, enforced disappearances and torture. They would be responsible for a hundred murders of Serbs, Kosovar Albanians and political opponents.

As a result of the SPO announcement, Thaçi canceled his trip to Washington during which he was scheduled to meet with US President Donald Trump and Serbian Aleksandar Vučić. The meeting between the three had been the subject of much discussion in recent days, mainly because it was the result of the controversial diplomacy of Richard Grenell, a US government envoy for peace negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo and Trump’s ally. Instead of Thaçi, Trump and Vučić will meet the new Kosovar prime minister, Avdullah Hoti.

– Also read: The United States is increasingly getting in the way between Kosovo and Serbia

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