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"Freedom has a name", but handcuffs are the same for everyone
by Andi Bushati / Lapsi.al
In the preliminary session of the presentation of former President Thaçi in The Hague, there was a detail that passed without much attention. His lawyer, David Hooper, challenged before the court his client's arrival in the courtroom, handcuffed. He considered it a shameful act, against a man who until the final sentence is considered innocent, without forgetting to mention that that court, where it was being debated this Monday, dedicated its existence, vote, and political will of Hashim Thaçi.
The responses she received from the head of the trial panel and then from an administration clerk were icy to the point of cynicism: "Here all prisoners are treated equally."
This seemingly routine sequence speaks volumes not only about changing the status of the former president of Kosovo and all former commanders who will be tried alongside him but above all about the different ways in which they should be protected.
If you watch today, the two sessions for Jakup Krasniqi and then, the one for Hashim Thaçi, they were completely different from the useless collective hysteria that has erupted everywhere, from Tirana to Pristina.
There the debate took place on arguments and counter-arguments, on legal points of view on the danger that the accused have today, on the evidence or their lack to keep them in prison.
Even Hooper, the lawyer of the former president who demonstrated from the first day that he knows how to properly protect the client, was in his extremely synthetic interventions.
Although he stylistically utilized two sayings of Bob Doll and Joe Biden, his arguments were technical and stripped of the pathos that has deafened our ears these days.
If you compare this picture, with the logos that politicians and celebrities have spent these days, with the folklore shows that have donated to the evening TV debates, it is not difficult to understand what donkey's tag is served as informative food to the Albanian public.
The appearances in the studios with T-shirts stamped: "Freedom has a name", the pathetic calls for not spotting the KLA war, the fanatical preservation of the inviolable myth of the liberators, have nothing to do with what is happening.
They blow in vain the nationalist flags of the anthem of politicians until yesterday, but not at all the protection of today's criminal defendants.
Neither the battery of claims that everything has stuck to Serbia and Russia, nor the conspiracy that this is happening at a time when the West is losing consciousness about the bombing of Belgrade, nor the outbursts against Dick Marty, have no value.
If we were to fall into this trap, then we would have to believe the paranoid scenario that those who made Kosovo, those who gave it freedom and citizenship, today are entangled with former opponents to desecrate the epic of the liberators, to tarnish the figures of the war. and to turn back the history of these two decades.
The truth is not so. It lies in the fact that, in the last year of the war and in the first months after it, crimes were committed. Crimes against Albanians, crimes against colored minorities, and crimes against Serbs. For most, there is no author. The new state failed to whitewash them and that is why the Special Court was set up.
Now the question is: Are Hashim Thaçi, Kadri Veseli, Jakup Krasniqi, or Rexhep Selimi directly guilty of them? Can they be shot for concrete charges or simply as part of the liberators' chain of command? Have they ordered killings and torture, or should they also bear the costs of collateral damage that every war has inevitable?
This is in fact the real debate, the facts of which we will see whether they stand or not, hand in hand with the development of the processes in The Hague.
But, this is a discussion that can only take place with evidence, testimony, and arguments. More or less like his prologue, today in the first session against Hashim Thaçi.
Everything else, nationalist conspiracies, rhapsodic-worthy stories, cries for the glory of war, or even the anguish of the KLA mud, and even more, the fear of tarnishing the whole nation, is utterly worthless to stop what has begun.
They can serve to preserve the myth of commanders in the hearts of their party fans, but not at all to save them from the justice of The Hague. Because it does not matter how much they have given freedom from their name, the key is to be able to remove the prisoner from handcuffs.
For Thaçi and his friends, what is important is not glory, but innocence.
Because, if that happens, they would not only relieve themselves but also those who are removed as if it bothers them, trampling on the glory of the KLA.