Kosovo: 'Dead' according to CoE draft-report, but alive

08 January 2011

Tags : news - Kosovo, ICTY

Dtt-net.com, Prishtina – Two Kosovo Ethnic Albanians - reportedly to have been witnesses at the trial of former Kosovo Prime Minister - are declared dead in a draft report by Council of Europe member from Monaco, but on Friday (7 January) they gave interviews to Prishtina media slamming the reports from Strasbourg.

In his report on witness protection in trials for war crimes in the former Yugoslavia, which should be adopted by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) on January 26, Jean-Charles Gardetto writes that there are no adequate witness protection in Kosovo and that those who decide to come forward risk much, even their lives.

Gardetto writes that the trial of Ramush Haradinaj, former member of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and former Prime Minister, illustrates cases when witnesses risk their lifes.

Haradinaj was indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for crimes committed during the war in Kosovo but was subsequently acquitted, and then again is being held in The Hague, after prosecution’s appeal.

The CoE member writes in the draft-report that “in its judgment, the Tribunal highlighted the difficulties that it had had in obtaining evidence from the 100 prosecution witnesses. Thirty-four of them were granted protection measures and 18 had to be issued with summonses.”

Jean Charles Gardeto, from Monaco writes that a number of witnesses who were going to give evidence at the trial were murdered, including Sadik and Vesel Muriqi, both of whom had been placed under a protection programme by the ICTY.

But Sadik and Vesel Muriqi are alive and on Friday from their homes in western town of Peja, they gave interviews to Kosovo private TV station, KTV, saying that they are surprised by the reports that they are dead.

Both said they will sue the raporteur from Monaco for incorrect reporting and slander.



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