Country's President Charged With War Crimes

Kosovo leader calls off White House trip
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 24, 2020 6:05 PM CDT

(Newser) – Kosovo President Hashim Thaci and nine other former separatist fighters were indicted Wednesday on a range of crimes against humanity and war crimes charges, including murder, by an international prosecutor probing their actions against ethnic Serbs and others during and after Kosovo’s 1998-99 independence war with Serbia. The charges were made public on Wednesday as both the European Union and the US intensify efforts to facilitate a durable settlement to normalize relations between Serbia and Kosovo after decades of tensions and thousands of lost lives. Because of the indictment, Thaci has postponed his trip to Washington, where he was to meet Saturday for talks at the White House with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, the AP reports.

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"The President of Kosovo has just informed us that he has canceled his trip to Washington, DC, following the announcement made by the Special Prosecutors Office," tweeted Richard Grenell, the US envoy for the Kosovo talks. Grenell added that the talks will still go ahead, with Vucic and Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti. A statement from the prosecutor of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers said Thaci and the nine others "are criminally responsible for nearly 100 murders" involving hundreds of Serb and Roma victims, as well as Kosovo Albanian political opponents.Other charges include enforced disappearance, persecution and torture, he said. A pretrial judge at The Hague-based court is currently studying the indictment and could still reject it if there is not enough evidence to back it up.

(Read more Kosovo stories.)

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