Anger in Kosovo as law outlining special court is leaked

22 February 2015 by Una Hajdari, Pristina (Kosovo)

A document leaked last week to Kosovar media provides legal background for a court that will deal with crimes allegedly committed by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) from 1998 to 2000.

KLA memorial in Mitorvica, Kosovo (Photo: Joost van Egmond)
Image caption: 
KLA memorial in Mitorvica, Kosovo (Photo: Joost van Egmond)

The 45-page draft law reveals the first details of how a special court is to be set up to try former KLA members for claims put forward in a report by Council of Europe rapporteur Dick Marty [IJT-1571JT-164]

The law foresees “Specialized Chambers [that] are part of but independent from all levels of the Kosovo court system”. Officially, Kosovo is envisaged as the headquarters, but the court would effectively work from a host state. The Netherlands previously said that it was asked to host the court. The international community, meanwhile, has pressed for a location outside Kosovo because of concerns about witness protection.

Opposition party Vetevendosje (meaning ‘self-determination’ in Albanian) slammed the draft proposal, maintaining that the court would in effect be “a completely parallel judicial system” and “remove the last pillar of sovereignty and independence that Kosovo has”.

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