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Friday, September 02, 2011

EU Kosovo authorities charge 10 for war crimes
Michael Haggerson at 4:16 PM ET

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[JURIST] The European Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) [official website] on Friday charged 10 former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) with war crimes for their actions during the 1998-1999 war in Kosovo [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. The individuals were previously arrested in March [JURIST report]. Among those charged is Fatmir Limaj, a prominent political figure in the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) [official website, in Albanian]. In order for the court to try him, parliament would have to dissolve his immunity [Reuters report].

EULEX has been investigating war crimes [JURIST report] since December 2008. In May 2010, EU police arrested a former member of the KLA for suspected war crimes violations [JURIST report]. A case came to trial [JURIST report] in March 2009, resulting in a guilty verdict against a Kosovo Albanian for charges of murder, attempted murder and grievous bodily harm. The trial of two Serbian defendants was derailed [JURIST report] that month by hundreds of Serbian protesters and postponed indefinitely. Earlier this year, the Council of Europe and the UN Security Council [JURIST reports] considered allegations of organ trafficking by the KLA during the war. Kosovo controversially seceded from Serbia [JURIST report] in February 2008 and its new constitution went into effect [JURIST report] later that year.

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