Human Rights

UN court to begin trial for Kosovo’s former president March 1

The trial of former Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, who is charged with war crimes at a special court in The Hague, will begin March 1, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The decision was made at a pre-trial conference.

According to judges and media reports, the trial is expected to drag on for years.

Prosecutors confirmed that they will need more than 700 working hours to question 320 witnesses.

They will also need additional time to question prosecution witnesses.

Presiding Judge Charles Smith asked prosecutors to reduce the number of witnesses.

Police searched Thaci's residence in Pristina a day after he announced he would step down in 2020 to face the charges.

Thaci, 52, is accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity during the 1998-1999 war with Serbia.

Three other defendants are also charged with murder, torture, inhumane treatment and illegal detention.

Former Speaker of the Parliament Kadri Veseli, former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) spokesman Jakup Krasniqi, and Rexhep Selimi, a former KLA commander, are being held in The Hague for war crimes they allegedly committed during the war.

Source: Anadolu Agency