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'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jun 1st, 2023 at 06:52:25 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jun 1st, 2023 at 06:55:21 AM EST
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Once feted by Tony Blair and Madeleine Albright, Hashim Thaçi stands accused in The Hague of complicity in torture and murder | The Guardian - April 10, 2023 |

A quarter of a century ago, in the midst of the war in Kosovo and in its aftermath, senior international figures beat a path to the door of Hashim Thaçi, the Kosovo Liberation Army commander who would later become the country's most prominent politician.

Thaçi hosted the former UK prime minister Tony Blair, one of the KLA's most prominent international supporters. He met the late Liberal Democrat leader Sir Paddy Ashdown for a beer. Madeleine Albright, then US secretary of state, was a vocal admirer, and Hillary Clinton met Thaçi later when she occupied the same position.

Last week, however, Thaçi - who served as both prime minister and president of Kosovo - appeared in the dock of a Hague court alongside three prominent colleagues, all accused of war crimes committed during the conflict, including complicity in the murder of 102 people.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jun 1st, 2023 at 07:25:53 AM EST
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Trial of four top commanders of the former rebel Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) started in The Hague | DW News - April 2023 |

The trial of four top commanders of the former rebel Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) started in The Hague's Kosovo war crimes tribunal.

Hashim Thaci, Kadri Veseli, Jakup Krasniqi and Rexhep Selimi stand accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity carried out in Kosovo between 1998 and 2000. So far, 312 witnesses have been identified by the prosecution.

Thaci was the political leader of the KLA before and during the 1998-99 Kosovo war, which broke out between the forces of Serbia and Montenegro and the KLA Kosovo Albanian rebel group. Veseli was the head of the group's intelligence service; Krasniqi was its spokesman; and Selimi was among the general staff.

The Yugoslav government labeled the KLA a terrorist organization and took relentless action against its members.

It eventually also brought NATO's intervention to end the conflict, though NATO's own bombing campaign remains controversial. The KLA and the armed resistance against the Serbian units gained more and more support from broad sections of the Kosovo Albanian population during this period, when Thaci became the KLA's political spokesman. 

In June 1999, the UN passed a resolution and Serbian units withdrew from Kosovo. Thaci and other KLA representatives formed an interim government, and the UN installed the interim administration mission, UNMIK.

Four men part of a 'joint criminal enterprise'

The indictment includes charges of unlawful imprisonment, torture, murder, crimes against humanity, enforced disappearances and persecution of hundreds of civilians and people who did not want to take part in the fighting. These crimes allegedly took place between March 1998 and September 1999 in various places in Kosovo, but also in northern Albania in the municipalities of Kukes and Cahan.

"The victims included persons suspected of being opposed to the KLA and later the Provisional Government of Kosovo," the indictment read. These victims are said to have included members of the Serbian, Roma and Ashkali populations, Catholics, civilians allegedly collaborating with Serb authorities as well as Albanians who merely supported other parties perceived as anti-KLA, and or simply did not join or support the KLA.

Kosovo's new president and Pristina-Belgrade final negotiations | @EuroTrib - Feb. 28, 2006 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jun 1st, 2023 at 07:27:18 AM EST
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