Free Press Journal

US warns Kosovo against changing law on war crimes court


Pristina : The United States ambassador to Kosovo said on Saturday that he opposes a petition to amend a law governing a war crimes court, calling it a “terrible idea” that would isolate the young country. Former fighters in Kosovo’s independence movement have allegedly collected more than 10,000 signatures for a petition on a 2015 law that governs the Kosovo Specialist Chambers court, based in The Hague, Netherlands, seeking to extend its jurisdiction to include Serbs, their former adversaries in a war for independence.

The court was set up as a result of US and European pressure on Kosovo’s government to confront alleged war crimes the Kosovo Liberation Army committed against ethnic Serbs. “Don’t turn back the clock,” US Ambassador Greg Delawie wrote on Twitter. “We have not invested so much effort into #Kosovo’s success to see it destroy its future by undoing the Special Court Law.”

Local online news site Gazetaexpress reported that Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci, parliament Speaker Kadri Veseli and Prime Minister — all former KLA military commanders — planned sneak a law based on the petition through a special session of parliament, reports AP.

Forty-three lawmakers called for the session on Saturday, but a quorum was not obtained since opposition parties refused to take part in consecutive meetings. Some lawmakers also said the draft law should be prepared and put to a cabinet vote before reaching parliament.