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Kosovo Albanian war veterans arrested amid war crimes investigations

Police from the EU law-enforcement mission in Kosovo, Eulex, raided the offices of Kosovo Albanian war veterans on Friday and detained the president of the organization, Hysni Gucati, broadcaster Koha reported.

Pristina, 25 September 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Police from the EU law-enforcement mission in Kosovo, Eulex, raided the offices of Kosovo Albanian war veterans on Friday and detained the president of the organization, Hysni Gucati, broadcaster Koha reported.

The raid came a day after another veteran of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), Salih Mustafa, was arrested and transferred to The Hague for trial at a special war crimes court in The Hague.

The Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) prosecutors charged Mustafa with the “arbitrary detention, cruel treatment and torture” of at least six people. His arrest was the first ordered by the KSC when it was formed in 2015.

The alleged atrocities were carried out during the fight for Kosovo’s independence from Serbia in 1999.

There was no immediate statement from Eulex or the KSC regarding Gucati.

The Special Prosecutor’s Office in June revealed a draft indictment, which is yet to be confirmed, of Kosovo President Hashim Thaci.

Thaci, who was the wartime political representative of the KLA, may be tried under 10 counts covering “a range of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, enforced disappearance of persons, persecution, and torture.”

Thaci and several other prominent Kosovo Albanians are allegedly responsible for nearly 100 murders.

The KLA launched an armed insurgency against Belgrade in mostly Albanian Kosovo in 1998. The conflict escalated and drew in NATO, which intervened against Serbia in 1999, eventually ousting Belgrade’s security forces from the former province.

The KSC was established to try alleged KLA atrocities against Serbs and others suspected of collaborating with Belgrade.

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