Will high ranking Kosovo officials be prosecuted?
Clint Williamson is no longer the Lead Prosecutor for the European Union Special Investigative Task Force (SITF) for investigations into crimes committed by the so called Kosovo Liberation Army against the Serbian and non-Albanian population in Kosovo and Metohija.
Recently, US lawyer David Schwendiman was named as the new chief prosecutor of the new special war crimes court for war crimes committed in Kosovo and Metohija who will prosecute members of the KLA according to their command structure and personal responsibilities.
Schwendiman has previously worked on cases of corruption in Afghanistan and replaces Clint Williamson who along with his team has worked on war crimes committed in Kosovo and Metohija for the last 3 years. The European Union has not made a statement as to why Clint Williamson has been replaced by David Schwendiman nor how the selection process in both cases has chosen Americans.
What we know, for now, is that Mr. Schwendiman has experience with the situation in the Balkans, as he has worked as prosecutor in Bosna and Hercegovina in the period between 2006 and 2009 where he led a special section investigating war crimes committed against Bosnian Serbs. He has also held posts in Vietnam, Bangladesh and Thailand.
The European Union Special Investigative Task Force (SITF) investigating war crimes by senior Kosovo officials will be headquartered in the Netherlands. Official statements by the EU and EULEX indicate expectations that “key figures of the KLA will be charged for war crimes committed between 1998 and 1999”. Their unofficial sources indicate that the once high ranking members of the KLA, and today holders of the highest state and political functions in the self proclaimed state, will be accused for banishing, murders, kidnappings, illegal arrests and sexual crimes (rape) committed against the Serbian, Roma and unlike minded Albanian populations.
Members of the families of the more than 3500 innocent Serbian and non-Albanian victims, of which nearly 1000 were kidnapped and forcibly removed from their homes, their workplace, their fields and from the streets, anticipate with great hope and give great attention to the beginning of work by the Special Court whose formation they have been waiting for a long time. Because, for the last 16 years, obviously, there was no political will nor the desire and a sense of obligation to find out the truth about the disappeared Serbs, to uncover the circumstances under which thousands of Serbian civilians have perished and to investigate the illegal human organ trafficking and to bring due punishment to instigators, conspirators and executors of individual and mass crimes.
Until now, no one has been punished accordingly for their crimes and evil deeds against Serbs and non-Albanians, not even in the few cases processed in front of both the Serbian and Kosovo courts.
The new court for the crimes committed by the KLA was supposed to begin work in January of 2015, but the delay in its start is being explained by the political instabilities in Kosovo after the elections in June 2014 which had resulted in the delay of the formation of the government. The government in Kosovo has recently been formed and includes the participation of members of the Serbian community from the Srpska electoral list. This gives hope to the families of Serbian victims that they might finally find out the fate of their loved ones who were kidnapped by Albanian terrorists in 1998, 1999 and 2000, as well as that all those who have committed crimes, regardless of their nationality and faith, will answer for their misdeeds in front of independent and unbiased judges.