EU to set up international tribunal for Kosovo crimes in 2015
BRUSSELS, July 29 (RAPSI) – An international tribunal for the crimes committed in Kosovo in 1998 and in the period after the war ended in Kosovo in June 1999, including by “certain senior officials of the former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA),” could be established by early 2015, RIA Novosti announced, citing John Clint Williamson, lead prosecutor for the multinational EU Special Investigative Task Force (SITF).
Clint Williamson is an American prosecutor appointed by the EU in 2011 to investigate the ethnic cleansing committed in Kosovo since the 1999 NATO intervention brought an end to the conflict there.
Williamson said they believe that SITF will be in a position to file an indictment against certain senior officials of the former KLA in connection with the crimes committed after the war ended in 1999.
“These individuals bear responsibility for a campaign of persecution that was directed at the ethnic Serb, Roma, and other minority populations of Kosovo and toward fellow Kosovo Albanians whom they labeled either to be collaborators with the Serbs or, more commonly, to have simply been political opponents of the KLA leadership,” the prosecutor said in his report.
Williamson said the crimes include “unlawful killings, abductions, enforced disappearances, illegal detentions in camps in Kosovo and Albania, sexual violence, other forms of inhumane treatment, forced displacements of individuals from their homes and communities, and desecration and destruction of churches and other religious sites.”
The tribunal will include international inspectors, investigators, analysts and judges. According to Williamson, they are negotiating with several countries as potential hosts of the tribunal. He said the tribunal would begin after the format is approved and the Kosovo constitution is amended. A change in the constitution would require a two-thirds majority in parliament.
The crimes also include the unexplained disappearance of approximately 400 Kosovo Serbs at the end of the war and accusations of organ-harvesting committed by the Kosovo Liberation Army.