The US embassy is adopting measures against Kosovo leaders if they continue with the initiative to abolish the KLA court, according to US Consul Brian Corteville. A bad consequence would be the refusal of visas for them (as happened to Prime Minister Haradinaj), but other unspecified measures would be taken.
A special court with international prosecutors and judges set up to tackle alleged war crimes by ethnic Albanians against Serbs during Kosovo’s 1998-99 war is ready to proceed with its first indictments, its president said in an interview with Reuters. The court, which could indict or call as witnesses current officials in Pristina’s government, will function under Kosovo law but operate in the Netherlands to minimize the risk of witness intimidation and judicial corruption in Kosovo.The Kosovo Specialist Chamber was set up in The Hague following U.S. and European Union pressure on the Kosovo government to confront allegations of atrocities against ethnic Serbs by Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) guerrillas.The KLA rose up against then-Serbian strongman President Slobodan Milosevic, eventually winning crucial NATO air support that halted the killing and expulsion of Kosovo Albanian civilians in a brutal counter-insurgency campaign. The now-disbanded KLA, which counts among its former ranks much of Kosovo’s current political elite, has been dogged for years by allegations that it sold organs removed from murdered Serb prisoners on the black market.Local media and analysts speculated that some of Kosovo’s top officials who held commanding positions within the KLA could face indictments or be called as witnesses.A 2011 report for the Council of Europe linked leading Kosovo figures – notably President Hashim Thaci – to gruesome crimes against Serbs, including trade in organs harvested from prisoners of war. Thaci has denied any wrongdoing.