03:31 GMT28 November 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Monday no one was above the law, after Kosovo’s former leader Hashim Thaci pleaded not guilty to war crime charges in The Hague court.

    "It is crucial that all those responsible for grave crimes exposed by the PACE rapporteur Dick Marty face court and receive the punishment they deserve. There is no place for immunity", the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

    Thaci resigned as president of Kosovo after a specialist tribunal in The Hague confirmed war crime indictments against him and his fellow members of the Kosovo Liberation Army who went on to take key posts in Kosovo institutions.

    "The high status of the accused is impressive. It turns out that the Kosovo quasi-state has been for years run by people linked by hard evidence to illegal activities ... Unfortunately, Pristina’s Western backers have been blind to this page in their biographies", the ministry added.

    Monday's hearing kicks off a potentially lengthy process that will look into suspected murders, abductions, torture and organ harvesting by Kosovo militants during the 1998-1999 war. It is based on a 2011 report by Council of Europe rapporteur Dick Marty.

    The ministry called Kosovo "a breeding ground for extremism and crime right next to the European Union" and urged the West to reconsider its approach to Kosovo's statehood.

    tribunal, Kosovo, Russia
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