What does the published list of victims in the process against Hashim Thaci and other KLA leaders indicate?

Taci Veseli
Source: Reporteri

The Prosecutor's Office of the Special Court in The Hague published an amended indictment against the former leaders of the KLA, and the names of 102 victims were made public for the first time. According to Veljko Odalovic, the President of the Commission of the Government of Serbia for Missing Persons, the above-mentioned list from The Hague also includes locations that Pristina persistently refuses to search, and which are suspected of containing the remains of the missing Serbs and other non-Albanians kidnapped and killed by the KLA in the period from March 1998 to September 1999.

Odalovic states for Kosovo Online that only in Likovac, a village near Srbica where the infamous KLA headquarters was located, seven missing persons are still being sought.

"The mentioned list means that the Prosecutor's Office has identified crimes that indisputably happened. So far it was quite descriptive, and now specific names and places have appeared. I looked at the list, and there are locations where we are still looking for missing persons, let's say we are still looking for seven persons who disappeared in Likovac," Odalovic says.

According to him, there were camps where people were beaten, tortured, and killed in monstrous ways at the locations listed by the prosecution of the Special Court.

"These are real victims, real events, and I hope that with witnesses, the process can be pushed to the end," Odalovic says.

The mentioned list caused a stormy reaction in Pristina, from the fact that "the list is invented", to the fact that they claim that some names appeared in earlier trials against Limaj and Ramush Haradinaj.

The Special Prosecutor's Office did not make any further announcements on this matter, and it should be recalled that a little over a week ago, on the order of The Hague, a search was made of the apartment of former Thaci's advisor Adil Behramaj in Pristina.

Lawyer Goran Petronijevic says for Kosovo Online that it is very important that Serbian names appeared in the indictment for the first time.

"That changes everything. Up until now, there have been trials for the murders of Albanians by Albanians for three reasons - political because they belonged to the option of Ibrahim Rugova and were opponents of the KLA, because they were loyal to the state of Serbia or because they suspected the KLA of being with Rugova or Serbia. As it is, these are ethnically motivated murders, and this gives a completely different picture, they introduce the character of the conflict into another dimension. This means that the KLA state was created on the basis of the elimination of ethnic members of other groups - Serbs, Roma, and others, that is, on genocide. Serbs were killed only because they were Serbs and not political opponents, as the KLA did with Albanians. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that any of the Albanian witnesses will testify against other Albanians for killing Serbs, but when it is proven and when the KLA commanders are convicted of ethnic murders of the Serbs, then I will be able to say that I am slowly starting to believe in that court and that we have taken a step towards justice," Petronijevic said.

Hashim Thaci and other KLA commanders are charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity, including illegal detention, torture, murders, and disappearances of hundreds of people. The trial in The Hague is scheduled to begin on April 3.