A new war crimes tribunal for Kosovo?

15 April 2014 by IJT

The European Union (EU) is seeking to create a new specialised court operating outside Kosovo but under Kosovo jurisdiction, to investigate allegations of war crimes committed during the war in 1998-99. The deal has yet to be approved by Kosovo's parliament, where some voices strongly oppose the idea. 

To provide protection for witnesses, a chamber would be based in The Netherlands, Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans informed the Dutch parliament last week. In his letter, he stated the new court will not be 'an international tribunal for Kosovo based in The Netherlands,' but the Dutch role 'could involve the hearing of witnesses.' 

The court would consider allegations against members of the now disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army, suspected of abductions, beatings, summary executions, and the forced removal of human organs. They were first laid out in a 2010 Council of Europe report by Swiss senator Dick Marty. The victims, according to the Marty report, were mostly Serbs and Roma from Kosovo but  included ethnic Albanians suspected of having collaborated with the Serbian government and members of rival armed groups. 

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