18:54 GMT01 December 2020
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    BELGRADE (Sputnik) - Kadri Veseli, the head of the opposition Democratic Party of Kosovo and formerly a key paramilitary leader, said on Thursday that he had been indicted for war crimes by The Hague special court on Kosovo.

    "Yesterday afternoon, I was informed by the SPO that the judge had confirmed my indictment. I would like to let the Kosovar people know that I voluntarily depart to The Hague to respond to these accusations," Veseli said in a statement, published by his party on Facebook.

    The court, known officially as the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor's Office (KSC and SPO), has already indicted several other key members of the Albanian separatist movement of the late 1990s, including Kosovar President Hashim Thaci and ex-parliament speaker Jakup Krasniqi. Krasniqi was arrested on Wednesday, while Thaci announced his resignation shortly earlier on Thursday.

    The KSC and SPO began working in 2017 with a mandate to investigate alleged war crimes committed by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), an Albanian separatist paramilitary movement which sought Kosovo's secession from what was then Yugoslavia during the 1998-1999 war and merger into what they hoped would become Greater Albania.

    More than 200 former KLA militias were questioned by the court from 2018-2019. The crimes being clarified included torture, abduction, trafficking of human organs and drug trafficking, as flagged in a report by Council of Europe Special Representative Dick Marty in 2011.

    In November, Serbia gave the KSC and SPO materials containing information about 160 secret UCK prisons where war crimes were committed against Yugoslav Serbians.

    Tags:
    court, war crimes, Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), Kosovo
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