Kosovo's war criminals should be brought to justice

NOVI SAD - Head of the Centre for Regionalism Aleksandar Popov said on Thursday the creation of a special tribunal for war crimes committed by members of the former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was a significant thing, adding that he hoped it would bring to justice those responsible for war crimes.

There has been exceptionally strong resistance in Kosovo to taking action against those responsible for crimes during the war there, he told Tanjug.

"I think that the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) contributed to that somewhat, since it turned into political court to an extent by allowing some war criminals to avoid punishment," he noted, stressing that Ramus Haradinaj, a former commander in the KLA, had definitely been one of those.

The ICTY acquitted Haradinaj citing lack of evidence, Popov stated, adding that Haradinaj had been released pending his trial and even allowed to be prime minister for a while after being indicted.

That gave Haradinaj enough time to destroy the evidence, and a number of witnesses who should have been included in the case against him disappeared, Popov said, pointing out that it was one of the key arguments for the necessity of establishing a special tribunal.

The evidence prepared for the case concerning the so called yellow house in Albania, involving organ harvesting from living people, is also a strong argument, and it is very important to settle that once and for all, particularly through such a tribunal, he underscored.

"I hope the court will do what it is supposed to and those responsible for war crimes to justice," Popov concluded.

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