BY FATON MEHMETI
The current government must review at all costs and promptly the financial support to the indictees by the Special Court in The Hague. So far, over 464 thousand euros have been allocated from the Kosovo budget and have been spent on financial support for lawyers for the protection of the accused by the Specialized Chambers based in The Hague. This happened after the Ministry of Justice reviewed four requests of the defense lawyers of the accused for war crimes by the Special Court.
According to the Law on Legal and Financial Protection of Persons Who May Be Accused by the Special Court, adopted by the Assembly of Kosovo in 2015, which states that “they have the right to request assistance in covering the costs of defense and the engagement of independent defenders ”. The law guarantees the reimbursement of attorneys’ fees to the accused persons.
The Government of the Republic of Kosovo, specifically the Ministry of Justice have already allocated a sum of 20 million euros for the protection of the accused in the Special Court in The Hague. This large sum should be reconsidered, given the fact that some of the accused have only opened private funds to seek financial support, despite receiving money from the state budget.
Furthermore, the accused, respectively Hashim Thaçi, Kadri Veseli, Jakup Krasniqi and Rexhep Selimi, are charged with alleged war crimes and alleged crimes against humanity. The indictment charges, among others, suspects in approximately 100 illegal killings. The crimes presented in the indictment include hundreds of identified Kosovo Albanian, Serb and Roma victims and political opponents. The latter is more serious and which should be taken into account by the current government.
How can you finance someone who is accused of killing Albanians, especially political opponents. Those who are accused of crimes against Serbs and which we are convinced did not happen can be funded, not in cases that may have happened to Albanians. President Rugova’s closest associates were killed, they were the Kosovo elite who were labeled as political opponents, and therefore eliminated.
The current government does not dare and does not have to spend millions for people who have only done damage to the country, and who are the main suspects in the murder of Albanians. Recall that for 2021 the budget is provided by the Law on Budget Appropriations for this year and is a total of 17 million euros, which should be reviewed as soon as possible. Not only the accused, but also their families are funded. Realistically, I am not against this happening, but not for those who are accused of killing Albanians.
If in the end they turn out to be innocent, then they should also be compensated. Until then, the state must cancel the support for the accused against Albanians, specifically political opponents. This must happen as soon as possible and as soon as possible.