Former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) spokesperson Jakup Krasniqi has pleaded not guilty to war crimes and crimes against humanity during his initial appearance at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) in The Hague, reported Gazeta Express on Monday.
Krasniqi said on Monday that he was only a KLA spokesperson and holds no responsibility whatsoever of the war crime charges he is accused of.
Former speaker of Kosovo Parliament after the war in Kosovo, in an emotional speech before the pre-trial judge of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC), denied that he was part of “Joint Criminal Enterprise” as labeled by the Hague prosecutors for his role as member of the KLA General Headquarters during 1998-1999 Kosovo war.
“You labeled us as joint criminal enterprise. This is insulting for me and my friends who fought for freedom. We fought for freedom and state-building, which we achieved in cooperation with the US, EU, NATO and UN and we all are a joint state-building enterprise, whereas the criminal enterprise’s head is in Belgrade,” Krasniqi stated.
“In the indictment you refer to us as joint criminal enterprise. I want to emphasize here that I have never been treated in my life the way you have treated me from the detention center to the court’s building,” Krasniqi said. “The qualification of the prosecutor that we are a ‘joint criminal enterprise’ just ads insult to the injury."
He also said that the prosecutor’s labeling of Albanians as Muslims and Catholics in his filed indictment is insulting. “You have divided Albanians as Muslims and Catholics. I am neither Muslim nor Catholic, I am Albanian,” Krasniqi said.
Former PM Haradinaj Pledges Solidarity with Indicted Kosovo Ex-KLA Commanders
In another development leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) Ramush Haradinaj paid a surprise visit to the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) offices Monday.
PDK spokesperson Avni Bytyqi said the unannounced visit of Haradinaj came after the Kosovo Specialist Chambers confirmed the indictments against Kosovo president Hashim Thaci and PDK leader Kadri Veseli last week. Bytyqi said Haraidnaj and PDK leaders have not discussed any of political issues.
“Mr. Haradinaj paid an unannounced visit to the PDK offices to express his solidarity following recent developments with the Specialist Chambers. We thank him for his gesture, and at the same time we confirm that during the meeting current political issues in Kosovo were not discussed,” Bytyqi said in a Facebook post.
“Confirmation of the indictment against former PDK chairman Veseli and former president Thaci put Kosovo and PDK in a very difficult position. We need solidarity and cooperation more than ever to overcome this very difficult situation for the country,” Bytyqi wrote.
Leaving the PDK offices Haradinaj, a former PM, told media that he came to support this opposition party following recent developments after filing of the Specialist Chambers indictments. /argumentum.al