The President of Kosovo, the guerrilla leader during Kosovo’s fight against Serbia, resigned on Thursday in a special international court in the Netherlands to face charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
52-year-old President Hashim Thisi News conference In Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, that he was moving to defend the office of the presidency.
“Starting today, this is a new chapter for Kosovo,” said Wigan Kuroly, a professor of law at the University of Pristina in the capital of Kosovo. He said that many see the president’s resignation as an opportunity for “new stability to bring prosperity”.
The former commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army was Mr. Thaci Convicted in June by special court in The Hague In 10 cases of war crimes. Prosecutors accused him and other former freedom fighters of being “criminally responsible for about 100 murders”.
Mr Thaci previously denied the allegations, but said he would resign if he confirmed the allegations this week, as they were this week.
Late on Thursday night, the court said Mr Thaci had reached the Hague and entered the International Detention Center on the outskirts of the city. Two others, who were equally convicted for war crimes, Kadri Wesley, leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo and Rexpepe Selimi, An MLA, traveled with him and also entered the jail.
A court judge also confirmed the war crimes charges against former Interim President of Kosovo, Jakup Karsniki. Prosecutors said on Wednesday that they were arrested with the help of EU officials.
The indecency gave hope to thousands of victims of the Kosovo war, who have waited more than two decades to find out the truth of the terrible crimes committed against themselves and their loved ones, said Elena International’s Balkan researcher Jelena Cesare, Statement. He said it showed that “senior officials are not above the law.”
Kosovo’s parliamentary speaker, Vjosa Usmani, performed the duties of Mr. Thaci as acting president in a ceremony on Thursday. Ms Usmani, 38, said in a speech that Serbia was responsible for those who died in the war.
Mr. Thaci was President of Kosovo since 2016, a largely ceremonial role, although he has also served as Prime Minister. She is Is a mainstay of Kosovo politics Whose supporters have acclaimed him as a war hero, while his critics have accused his government of corruption and rigging of the judiciary.
Charges of war crimes were leveled against Mr. Thaci, Mr. Wesley and others In june Including murder, missing people, harassment and torture, including political opponents. But the allegations had to be reviewed and confirmed by a judge, which was the latest development.
The Kosovo war killed more than 13,000 people, mostly Kosovars killed by Albanian Serbian forces. But they also include some 2,000 Serbs, Roma and Kosovar Albanians who have been killed in NATO bombings or by fighters such as the Kosovo Liberation Army, according to figures from the Humanitarian Law Center.
After the formation of a special court in the Netherlands in 2015 by the Parliament of Kosovo, charges were brought against the president to determine whether guerrilla combatants had committed war crimes.
Prosecutors said the allegations were made public due to “repeated attempts” by Mr Thiese and Mr Wesley, and the court conducted a covert operation to obstruct the court’s work in an effort to ensure that. They do not face justice. “
Although Kosovo regained its sovereignty in 1999 and declared its independence in 2008, Serbia refused to recognize Kosovo’s independence and negotiations for a peace deal failed. European and US officials are mediating in hopes of improving relations between the two sides and achieving an agreement.
News of the indictment in June delayed a planned meeting at the White House between Serbia’s Mr. Thaci and President Alexander Vucic, the first formal talks between the two in a year. Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti attended a summit instead in September.
Marlise Simons contributed reporting.