- Title: Kosovo president meets war crimes prosecutors to discuss charges against him
- Date: 13th July 2020
- Summary: THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS (JULY 13, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF DEMONSTRATORS SUPPORTING KOSOVO'S PRESIDENT HASHIM THACI SHOUTING UCK (ALBANIAN LANGUAGE ACRONYM FOR THE KLA, THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY) THACI STEPPING OUT OF CAR AND APPROACHING JOURNALISTS (SOUNDBITE) (English) KOSOVO'S PRESIDENT, HASHIM THACI, SAYING: "I am ready to face the new challenge and succeed for my son, my family, my people and my country. Nobody can rewrite the history. This is the price for freedom. I believe in peace, truth, reconsideration (meant to say reconciliation) and justice." VARIOUS OF PRO-THACI DEMONSTRATORS HOLDING SIGNS READING (English): "What should we say to the children of the missing parents from the Milosevic regime?" PRO-THACI DEMONSTRATOR WEARING UCK SHIRT WITH PHOTO OF THACI AND FORMER PARLIAMENTARY SPEAKER KADRI VESELI, WHO HAS ALSO BEEN INDICTED BY THE COURT (SOUNDBITE) (English) KOSOVO'S PRESIDENT, HASHIM THACI, SAYING: "I believe in dialogue, and good relations with all neighbours. Kosovo is a success story, I am very proud. Kosovo's destination is member of EU, NATO and eternal friendship with the United States of America. Thank you very much." PRO-THACI DEMONSTRATORS HOLDING SIGNS VARIOUS OF JOURNALISTS OUTSIDE COURT VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF THE KOSOVO SPECIALIST CHAMBER
- Embargoed: 27th July 2020 13:47
- Keywords: Hashim Thaci KLA Kosovo UCK indictment prosecutors war crimes
- Location: THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS
- City: THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS
- Country: Netherlands
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Judicial Process/Court Cases/Court Decisions
- Reuters ID: LVA001CMN8E2V
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Kosovo President Hashim Thaci arrived in The Hague on Monday (July 13) for a meeting with prosecutors who last month indicted him for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity during Kosovo's 1998-99 uprising against repressive Serbian rule.
Before entering the Specialist Chamber set up in 2015 to handle cases of war crimes during the revolt that eventually led to independence for Kosovo, Thaci told reporters: "Nobody can rewrite history. This is the price for freedom."
Thaci had earlier accepted an invitation by the court to discuss the allegations against him, and was expected to fly back home later in the day after the meeting. He has previously denied involvement in any war crimes during the conflict.
The indictment, which also covers alleged crimes against humanity, is not final and a judge will now take several months to decide whether the case built by the special prosecutor's office is strong enough to put him on trial.
Prosecutors hold Thaci, former top commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) guerrilla group, responsible for nearly 100 murders of civilians during the war.
Around 20 ethnic Albanians demonstrated outside the Chamber in support of Thaci, waving Kosovo and Albanian flags and chanting "U-C-K" - the Albanian language acronym for the KLA.
The Kosovo Specialist Chamber is governed by Kosovo law but is staffed by international judges and prosecutors.
Local efforts to investigate alleged war crimes have so far been foiled by widespread intimidation in the tiny Balkan state, where clan loyalties run deep and former rebels are lionised.
(Production Hilde Verweij)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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