Kosovo President Hashim Thaci says establishment of the unpopular war crimes court to prosecute former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was a right decision and he never made choices without thinking carefully.
Thaci’s statement came only days after he accused the international community of not keeping its end of the bargain after the country established the Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecution Office to prosecute and try Albanians in cases linked to Kosovo’s war. Attending a debate on Monday on the role of the Specialist Chambers, Thaci said among the things that international officials promised in return were to fast-track Kosovo for European Union and UNESCO membership and visa liberalization, and allow Kosovo to form its army.
Talking to journalists on Wednesday following a meeting with his Albanian counterpart Ilir Meta, Thaci said that establishment of the special court aimed at opening a new perspective for Kosovo. “This was the pledge of the international community. And here we are today. We are still isolated,” he said. Commenting on the establishment of the Special Court the President of Kosovo said that he never takes decisions without thinking carefully every aspect. “So, there is no doubt or hesitations. We are in favour of the establishment of this court,” said Thaci said.
Former political representative of the KLA during the war and former prime minister of Kosovo says the country faced two difficult options when it comes to establishment of this court which will be based at The Hague, Netherlands. “The first option on establishment of this imposed court was to at least function based on Kosovo laws. In case of our refusal, the second option was this issue be dealt by the United Nations. A choice between two equally unpleasant alternatives made us decide on the one bringing fewer consequences to our country. I still believe that we have made best possible solution,” Thaci said.
Officials of the US Embassy to Kosovo responding to the accusations of President Thaci, told Gazeta Express that the US will remain committed to the successful operation of the Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office. "The United States remains fully committed to the successful operation of Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague, and we salute the commitment of state institutions to cooperate with the Court. Kosovo's cooperation with this process will strengthen the international position of the state and will be a concrete indicator of the basic democratic principles where the rule of law applies to all citizens alike," reads the Embassy's written statement.
Kosovo newspaper Koha Ditore reported on Wednesday that representatives of the European Union, US and UK denied any kind of ‘bargaining’ on establishment of the Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecution Office saying that it is Kosovo institutions that should be blamed for a failing to meet certain criteria and get visa liberalisation and other issues as mentioned by President Thaci. /Express/