Allies of Kosovo PM probed over war crime allegations G. Redd at 11:42 AM ET
[JURIST] The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) [official website] and the Kosovo Police Special Operations Unit ROSU [EU backgrounder, PDF] arrested five people Thursday on suspicion of war crimes in the 1998-1999 conflict [JURIST news archive]. Although the names of the accused were not released, the lawyer for Sami Lushtaku announced that his client is among those arrested. Lushtaku is the mayor of the town of Skenderaj [OSCE backgrounder, PDF], and is a close ally of Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci [official website]. Both men served as commanders in the guerrilla Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) [BBC backgrounder] during the conflict. Allegedly, Kosovo's ambassador to Albania is also among those arrested. The five accused parties are charged with "war crimes against the civilian population in the form of violation of bodily integrity and health of civilians held in a KLA detention centre... also for... the killing of one civilian." The order for the arrest came from a pre-trial judge of the Mitrovica Basic Court [OSCE backgrounder, PDF] and will be prosecuted by the EULEX special prosecutor from the Special Prosecution Office of Kosovo (SPRK) [official website].
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