Friday, September 24

First trial for the International Tribunal for Kosovo

Former UCK chief accused Salih Mustafa compared the special tribunal for Kosovo to a “Gestapo office”

The first trial of the international tribunal for Kosovo opened this Wednesday in The Hague in the Netherlands. On the dock is Salih Mustafa, a former head of the KLA, the Kosovo Liberation Army. He is being prosecuted for the arbitrary detention and torture of six of his Kosovar Albanian compatriots, and the murder of one of them. The latter were suspected by their torturers of collaborating with the Serbian forces.

I am not guilty of any of the charges brought against me by this Gestapo office “, he told the court.

Considered a war hero by some, Salih Mustafa was arrested last year while working as an adviser for the Defense Ministry.

The war in Kosovo, which claimed 13,000 lives, ended in 1999 with a NATO bombing campaign that forced Serbian forces to withdraw.

The activities of the Special Tribunal for Kosovo remain sensitive as former guerrilla leaders continue to dominate the political landscape. Former Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi is also awaiting trial. He had to resign last year to defend himself against charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

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