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India Kosovar president will resign if charged with war crimes

01:20  30 june  2020
01:20  30 june  2020 Source:   lexpress.fr

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President Thaci promised to resign if charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity filed by prosecutors last week are confirmed by a special Critics accuse them of miring the young democracy in corruption while doing little to lift ordinary Kosovars from poverty. But the war crimes charges

Kosovo’s president rejected international prosecutors’ accusations that he engaged in war crimes in the conflict with Serbia more than 20 years ago, but said he’d step down if the charges are “I will not face justice from this office. If the indictment is confirmed, I will resign immediately.”

Hashim Thaci à Vienne le 02 juillet 2012 © ALEXANDER KLEIN Hashim Thaci in Vienna on July 02, 2012

Kosovar president Hashim Thaçi said on Monday that he would resign "immediately" if the charges of crimes of wars against him were confirmed by a formal charge.

"If the accusations (the indictment, editor's note) are confirmed I will immediately resign as your president and I will face these accusations," said Mr. Thaçi in a speech to the nation Monday evening in Pristina.

Hashim Thaci passe en revue la Force de sécurité du Kosovo (KSF) à Pristina le 13 décembre 2018 © Armend NIMANI Hashim Thaci reviews the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) in Pristina on December 13, 2018

Kosovar president, 52, was indicted for war crimes during the conflict with Serbia (1998 -99) by prosecutors at the Hague Special Court last week. Hashim Thaçi was one of the leaders of the independence guerrilla movement, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), who fought against the Serbian forces during this conflict.

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Kosovo’s president on Monday denied committing war crimes during and after a 1998-1999 armed conflict between ethnic Albanian separatists and Serbia, and said he would resign if an indictment against him is confirmed. Last week, a special prosecutor's office said it had indicted President

Kosovan President Hashim Thaci has been indicted for war crimes allegedly committed during the Kosovo conflict in the late 1990s, leading him to cancel a Kosovo declared independence from Serbia a decade after the bloody conflict between Serb forces and Kosovar -Albanian rebels began.

Hashim Thaci, alors négociateur en chef albanais du Kosovo lors des pourparlers de paix entre les Albanais de souche et les Serbes, le 16 mars 1999 à Paris © MANOOCHER DEGHATI Hashim Thaci, then chief Kosovo Albanian negotiator during the peace talks between ethnic Albanians and Serbs, on March 16, 1999 in Paris

Under the procedure, a judge must examine these charges to decide whether the charges should be confirmed and the Kosovar President properly charged.

"I will not face these charges from my office" as president of Kosovo, he said.

- "Not a saint" -

International justice accuses Mr. Thaçi, his political ally Kadri Veseli and others of being "responsible for nearly 100 murders", enforced disappearances, persecution and torture of Serbs , Roma and Kosovar Albanians.

Last conflict in the former Yugoslavia, the Kosovo war between Serb forces and Kosovar Albanian separatist guerrillas killed more than 13,000 people, mostly Albanians. It ended when a western bombing campaign forced Serbian forces to withdraw.

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President Hashim Thaci, who had already left for Washington and was in Austria when the charges against him were announced, landed at Kosovo’s president and nine other former separatist fighters were indicted on a range of crimes against humanity and war crimes charges , including murder, by

President Hashim Thaci, who had already left for Washington and was in Austria when the charges against him were announced, landed at Kosovo’s president and nine other former separatist fighters were indicted on a range of crimes against humanity and war crimes charges , including murder, by

Last week, after these accusations were made public, the president of the former Albanian-majority Serbian province who declared independence in 2008 gave up a visit to Washington where he was to discuss difficult relations with Serbia.

Hashim Thaçi strongly criticized this decision considering that it "represents a dark page in the history of international justice".

Indirectly, the Kosovar president has dismissed the charges against him. "I am not a saint", he insisted, but "one thing is certain, there has not been, there can not be the slightest proof that Hashin Thaçi has broken any law", did he declare.

Friday, Hashim Thaçi had accused international justice of "rewriting history". In Kosovo, both his supporters and his detractors had defended the war against the Serbian forces as a "just" and "pure" cause heralding the independence of Kosovo.

Des Kosovars réagissent aux accusations de crimes de guerre portées contre le président Thaci © Sally Mairs Kosovars react to war crimes charges brought against President Thaci

- Support from Tirana -

Who is Hashim Thaci, president of Kosovo, former head of the UCK, accused of war crimes?

 Who is Hashim Thaci, president of Kosovo, former head of the UCK, accused of war crimes? © REUTERS / Laura Hasani Hashim Thaci, December 13, 2018. This weekend, Hashim Thaci was to be in Washington, to participate in discussions with Serbia under the patronage of the White House. Objective: to relaunch the process of rapprochement between the two former enemies. This will not be the case: Hashim Thaci has been charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity by the special tribunal for Kosovo.

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci has been charged with 10 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in the country's conflict in the Asked in April whether he would resign if he was charged , Thaci told local media he was not even thinking about it and would "respond positively" if he

Other charges include enforced disappearance, persecution, and torture. The president 's advisers did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press. Kosovo’s prime minister resigned last year before he was questioned. Veseli also has been questioned, but not Thaci.

Monday, a few hours before the speech to the nation by Kosovar President, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama surrendered to Pristina to support Hashim Thaçi, describing the war crimes charges against him as a "task in the world history of justice".

I'm "in Pristina to listen and learn more," wrote Edi Rama on his tweeter account. He accused prosecutors in The Hague of having left "a shameful task in the world history of justice" by making these accusations public.

Prosecutors said the charges were released because Hashim Thaçi and other suspects were trying to obstruct the work of the court, an institution that complies with Kosovo laws but has international judges.

Senior Serbian military and police officials have already been tried and convicted by international justice for war crimes during the conflict.

Many former guerrilla commanders, notably Thaçi, subsequently dominated political life in Kosovo during its first decade of independence. Hashim Thaçi was Prime Minister, then President from 2016.

Twenty years after the conflict, Belgrade refuses to recognize the independence of its former province and relations between former enemies are a source of permanent tension in the region.

ih-mat / fjb

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