mcloudyn.png
Thursday October 29th, 2020 10:17PM

Kosovo president says he will resign if case goes ahead

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Kosovo’s president on Monday denied committing war crimes during and after a 1998-1999 armed conflict between ethnic Albanian separatists and Serbia, and said he would resign if an indictment against him is confirmed.

Hashim Thaci said in a televised address to the nation that there was no evidence he broke the law. Last week, a prosecutor at a Kosovo court based at The Hague said he had filed charges against Thaci, former Speaker Kadri Veseli and a group of other former independence fighters. They were accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The charges say they are "criminally responsible for nearly 100 murders” of Serbs and Roma, as well as Kosovo Albanian political opponents, including enforced disappearances, persecution and torture. The list of charges was made public last week, but a pretrial judge at The Hague-based Kosovo Specialist Chambers hasn't made a decision on whether to proceed with the case or throw it out.

Thaci was confident that the case wouldn't go ahead.

“If the accusation is confirmed, I will immediately resign as your president and face the accusations,” he said.

Thaci was a commander of the Kosovo Liberation army, or KLA, that fought for independence from Serbia. The fighting left more than 10,000 dead — most of them ethnic Albanians — and 1,641 are still unaccounted for. It ended after a 78-day NATO air campaign in 1999 that forced Serbian troops to stop their brutal crackdown against ethnic Albanians and leave Kosovo.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, a move Serbia refuses to recognize.

Thaci’s indictment led to the postponement of a White House meeting between the leaders of Kosovo and Serbia which was organized by U.S presidential envoy Richard Grenell. They would have been the first official talks between Serbia and Kosovo in 19 months. Thaci was traveling to Washington for the discussions when the indictment was announced.

“I do not know whether it was chance or intrigue that, midway toward the White House, the notification for an unconfirmed indictment was released,” he said.

Both Kosovo’s president and the prime minister canceled their trips to Washington, and Grenell said he would reschedule the meeting.

Thaci said the meeting being called off was "a strong blow to the opportunity of achieving peace between Kosovo and Serbia.”

Thaci also accused the Hague tribunal of “a massive scandal” after it announced the handed-over of the indictment before it was approved by the judicial body.

“No crime, alleged or even committed, by anyone, justifies a public (political) lynching,” he said.

The United States and the European Union have been working to help normalize ties between the two countries which still remain tense.

Earlier Monday, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama visited Kosovo to meet with Thaci and other top officials and politicians. Rama called the indictment a “shameful stain” of world justice.

——-

Llazar Semini reported from Tirana, Albania.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP World News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Florida site of GOP convention orders wearing of masks
The Florida city where President Trump is scheduled to accept the Republican nomination for his re-election bid voted Monday to require masks in public and indoor spaces
3:50PM ( 20 minutes ago )
'Enough': 1 killed in shooting in Seattle's protest zone
A 16-year-old boy was killed and and a younger teen was wounded before dawn in what is being called Seattle's occupied protest zone
3:47PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Diamondbacks' Leake becomes first player to opt out in 2020
Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Mike Leake has become the first known player to opt out of the 2020 season due to concerns about the coronavirus
3:33PM ( 37 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Supreme Court strikes down Louisiana abortion clinic law
The Supreme Court has struck down a Louisiana law regulating abortion clinics, reasserting a commitment to abortion rights over fierce opposition from dissenting conservative justices in the first big abortion case of the Trump era
2:48PM ( 1 hour ago )
'White power' flare-up in retirement haven reveals tensions
There has always been a low-boil tension between a much smaller cohort of Democrats and the Republican majority in The Villages retirement community in Florida
2:35PM ( 1 hour ago )
Abortion foes vent disappointment after Supreme Court ruling
Abortion opponents are disappointed by the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision to strike down a Louisiana law that would have curbed abortion access
2:23PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Libyan suspect in court over UK knife attack that killed 3
A 25-year-old Libyan asylum seeker accused of stabbing three men to death with a kitchen knife as they sat in an English city park has appeared in court
9:27AM ( 6 hours ago )
The Latest: Tokyo sees virus infections rise in nightclubs
Japan’s capital city of Tokyo has reported 58 new cases of coronavirus and a top government official said the trend doesn’t look good
9:01AM ( 7 hours ago )
Mississippi surrenders Confederate symbol from state flag
Mississippi is retiring the last state flag in the U.S. that includes the Confederate battle emblem
8:07AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
France, Germany push for rapid EU recovery plan agreement
The leaders of Germany and France say they will use their influence as European Union powerhouses to help negotiate a rapid agreement on a coronavirus recovery package for the 27-nation bloc that leaves no country behind
2:44PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Jacksonville enacts mandatory mask requirement
The city of Jacksonville, where President Trump is expected to accept the Republican nomination, enacted a mandatory mask requirement for public and indoor locations, and “in other situations where individuals cannot socially distance.”
2:41PM ( 1 hour ago )
Macron pledges billions for climate after Greens make gains
French President Emmanuel Macron, who once declared “Make The Planet Great Again” but whose climate agenda got knocked off course by persistent street protests, is under new pressure to fight climate change after the Green Party did well in Sunday’s local elections
2:09PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP World News
Florida site of GOP convention orders wearing of masks
The Florida city where President Trump is scheduled to accept the Republican nomination for his re-election bid voted Monday to require masks in public and indoor spaces
3:50PM ( 20 minutes ago )
'Enough': 1 killed in shooting in Seattle's protest zone
A 16-year-old boy was killed and and a younger teen was wounded before dawn in what is being called Seattle's occupied protest zone
3:47PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Diamondbacks' Leake becomes first player to opt out in 2020
Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Mike Leake has become the first known player to opt out of the 2020 season due to concerns about the coronavirus
3:33PM ( 37 minutes ago )
The Latest: Harris English tests positive for coronavirus
Harris English is the fifth PGA Tour player to test positive for the coronavirus
3:31PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Macron condemns Turkey's 'criminal' actions in Libya
French President Emmanuel Macron has lashed out against Turkey’s “criminal” responsibility in Libya
3:29PM ( 42 minutes ago )