Hashim Thaçi 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.