TIRANA, Albania – Kosovo President Hashim Thaci on Friday, June 26, accused international justice of “rewriting history” after he was charged with war crimes linked to the 1990s conflict with Serbia by special prosecutors in The Hague.
Thaci said on Facebook he had landed in the Albanian capital Tirana and was on his way back to Kosovo where he will address his compatriots on Sunday.
“Nobody can rewrite the history of Kosovo!” he said in his first reaction to the charges.
Thaci was the former political leader of the ethnic Albanian guerillas – the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) – which launched a rebellion against Belgrade more than 20 years ago when Kosovo was a southern province of Serbia.
On Wednesday, special prosecutors at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague accused Thaci and others of war crimes and crimes against humanity linked to the 1998-99 war.
Until now Thaci’s only visible reaction was an update of the cover photo of his Facebook profile to feature the crest of the KLA.
In a Facebook message to his “sisters, brothers and wonderful friends,” Thaci, 52, said he would “address [them] on Sunday evening” from his office.
“I remain full of hope that the coming days will be the best for Kosovo and Albania,” he said.
After the bombshell announcement, Thaci cancelled a planned trip to the US where he was set to discuss lingering tensions with Serbia.
Thaci has previously said he would comply with the court and that he is innocent and has “nothing to hide.”
The president and other suspects are accused of murder, enforced disappearance, persecution and torture against “hundreds of known victims of Kosovo Albanian, Serb, Roma, and other ethnicities and include political opponents.”
The charges still need approval from a pre-trial judge, but the prosecutors said they made the news public because Thaci and others have been trying to “obstruct the work” of the tribunal, which operates under Kosovo law but has international judges.
Kosovo proclaimed independence in 2008, but Serbia still does not recognize the move. – Rappler.com