War Crime Cases Still Not Resolved

Kosovo indicted for war crimes plead not guilty. Hashim Thaci recently resigned Kosovo’s President, and Jakup Krasniqi a former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) officer, both pleaded not guilty on Monday during their first separate appearances before the Specialist Court for the KLA 1989-1999 war crimes. 

The ten-count indictment charges the two, together with Kadri Veseli and Rexep Selimi, also ex-KLA, of being a part of a joint criminal enterprise. 

The four “shared the common purpose to gain and exercise control over all of Kosovo by means including unlawfully intimidating, mistreating, committing violence against, and removing those deemed to be opponents”, the charge sheet said. 

The indictment described those opponents as being people “who were or were perceived to have been collaborating or associating with the then Yugoslav forces or did not support the KLA, including ‘disloyal’ ethnic Albanians, Serbs, Roma, and people of other ethnicities.” 

The charge sheet adds the defendants were involved in “crimes of persecution, imprisonment, illegal or arbitrary arrest, and detention, other inhumane acts, cruel treatment, torture, murder, and enforced disappearance of persons.” 

Thaci is seen to have been a key member of the joint criminal enterprise, as a founding member of the KLA, its commander-in-chief, the head of its Political and Information Directorate and the prime minister of the Provisional Government of Kosovo. 

Meanwhile, Bosnia’s State Court has submitted a request asking Serbia’s Justice Ministry to take over the case of Visnja Acimovic, who is the subject of an Interpol warrant as she is suspected of involvement in the murder of 37 Bosniak men in the eastern town of Vlasenica, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN BiH) reported. 

The state court said it submitted the request because all the conditions prescribed in the provision of the Agreement between Bosnia and Serbia on legal assistance in civil and criminal matters have been met. 

However, is said it has not received a response so far. The indictment against Acimovic, who has Serbian and Bosnian citizenship, was confirmed in February 2017 and later an Interpol warrant was issued for her arrest. 

According to prosecutors, Acimovic was alongside several members of the Army of Republika Srpska involved in the killing of 37 Bosniak men who were taken to the area of Mracni dol from prison in Vlasenica. The bodies of the victims were found in 2000 at the site where they were killed. 

Acimovic was allegedly one of those who shot at the victims. 

It’s supposed Visnja Acimovic to live in Serbia at present.  

The third case is likely to be revenge against a war criminal. Convicted war criminal Marko (Maka) Radic was murdered Monday evening, November 9th, in the south Bosnian city of Mostar near the City’s police station, Herzegovina-Neretva Canton’s Interior Ministry said, adding that all available units are searching for his killer. 

The murdered Bosnian Croat Marko Radic was sentenced by the Bosniac Court to 21 years in prison, in 2011, for crimes against humanity, i.e. torture, imprisonment, murder, and rape in the settlement of ‘Vojno’ near Mostar. 

The verdict established that Radic personally participated in the rape of prisoners, including underage girls. He was not supposed to be released until 2027. However, he submitted a request to serve his sentence in Croatia, and on October 8, 2018, Bosnian Justice Minister, Josip Grubesa, signed a Decision on the transfer of a convicted person, which allowed for the transfer of Marko Radic from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Croatia so he could serve his sentence in that country. 

The Zagreb County Court retried the case and passed a verdict which took over the execution of the verdict of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, changing the sentence to 12 years and six months in prison for not recognizing the concept of “joint criminal enterprise”. Radić was released from prison in December 2018 and the victims protested the Zagreb Court’s verdict and Radic’s release. 

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