EU urges 'war crimes' trial of Kosovo ex-commanders

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Image caption,
The KLA was helped by Nato airstrikes against Serb forces in 1999

An EU war crimes prosecutor says that some former leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) should face charges of crimes against humanity.

Clint Williamson has spent three years investigating allegations of atrocities in the late 1990s, when Kosovo Albanian guerrillas were fighting Serb forces.

He said elements in the KLA murdered ethnic Serbs and other minorities.

There was also evidence of human organ harvesting and trafficking on a very limited scale, he said.

The EU's Special Investigative Task Force (SITF) was set up in 2011 to investigate allegations made by Dick Marty, special rapporteur of the Council of Europe. He alleged that organs were taken from prisoners killed by the KLA.

Mr Marty also alleged that KLA allies of current Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci engaged in heroin smuggling and assassinations.

Presenting his findings on Tuesday, Clint Williamson said the SITF concluded that "certain elements of the KLA intentionally targeted the minority population with acts of persecution".

The alleged crimes included unlawful killings, abductions, enforced disappearances, illegal detentions in camps in Kosovo and Albania, sexual violence, forced displacement of individuals from their homes and destruction of churches.

He said SITF concluded that the crimes were "sanctioned" by some KLA leaders.

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