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Serbia amnesties criminals for murders committed in Kosovo

Serbia amnesties criminals for murders committed in Kosovo

In Serbia, crimes in Kosovo continue to be covered up, but also legally amnestied. Of the 57 accused of war crimes in Kosovo, 25 of them were acquitted by the Serbian courts, while only 11 were convicted. 

In Serbia, partial justice is applied to the victims of war crimes in Kosovo, with an insufficient number of indictments.

According to the data of the Humanitarian Law Fund, a total of 12 procedures related to the crimes committed in Kosovo have been and are being conducted at the War Crimes Department of the High Court in Belgrade. Among them are the subjects from Podujeva, Suhareka, Gjakova, Ternja, Rudnica and Qyshk.

So far, 9 procedures have been concluded with verdicts.

Of the 57 accused, 25 were acquitted, and only 11 were finally convicted, including two Albanians and nine Serbs.

"How many Albanian civilian victims received justice in the courts in Serbia? Unfortunately, only 77 victims have been included in the proceedings that have been concluded with final verdicts in Serbia so far. Among the cases related to crimes against Albanian civilians, only three cases - Podujevë, Suharekë and Tërnje - have the final judgment", said Marina Klajiq, Fund for Humanitarian Law.

Two cases are in process, Rudnica and Qyshk, where the trial for the crimes in Qyshk has been going on for 14 years and now the verdict of the first instance has been given. Mass graves and lack of accountability are a particular problem.

"There was a well organized operation to retrieve the bodies of the killed civilians. In Serbia, five mass graves were found with a total of 952 bodies of Albanian civilians. The largest grave is in Batajnica with 744 bodies identified. While the others were discovered in Peruqac with 84 bodies, Petrovo Selo, Rudnica and Kizhevak with 11 bodies", said Klajic.

The characteristic of the procedures developed in Serbia is that they are accusations against the direct perpetrators of a lower rank, while only some accused had a higher military rank. According to the Fund's assessment, Serbia lacks the political will and support to resolve the issues of war crimes against Kosovo Albanians and to begin confronting the past. /RTK/


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