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Eight Serbian police charged with 1999 killing of 48 Kosovo Albanians

[JURIST] Prosecutors in Serbia [JURIST news archive] on Tuesday charged eight policemen for the killing of 48 Kosovar Albanians in the first weeks of the 1999 war in Kosovo [JURIST archive]. According to the indictment, the police officers are accused of shooting the 48 Albanians in the town of Suva Reka [HRW backgrounder] and then shipping the bodies to a mass grave outside of Belgrade. Tuesday's indictment is the latest step in Serb prosecutions of war crimes that occurred during the 1999 Kosovo war, arguably undertaken under pressure from Europe and the ICTY before EU membership talks. In October of last year, Serbian officials arrested nine Serbian police officers suspected in the killing [JURIST report].

Tuesday's indictment is the first official accusation that came from the 2001 discovery of the mass grave [BBC report] where the 48 bodies were discovered. In addition to those bodies, investigators also found the remains of more than 800 victims of the 1998-99 war. The indictment comes as representatives from Kosovo and Serbia continue to discuss [JURIST report] whether Kosovo will become a sovereign nation or will remain legally a part of Serbia. The territory is currently under UN administration. [UNMIK website]. Reuters has more.

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