Skip to comments.U.N. prosecutors say Albanian rebel leader ran camp where Serbs were tortured
Posted on 08/29/2005 5:21:39 PM PDT by joan
Released : Aug 29, 2005 11:31 AM
THE HAGUE, Netherlands-U.N. prosecutors told a war crimes trial Monday that an ethnic Albanian rebel leader was in charge of a wartime camp in Kosovo where Serbian prisoners were tortured and killed in the late 1990s.
Fatmir Limaj and two other former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army, Haradin Bala and Isak Musliu, face charges of imprisonment, torture and murder of civilians at the Lapusnik camp during the 1998-99 war with Serbia.
"The evidence has shown beyond reasonable doubt that Limaj was the overall commander at Lapusnik, and not just a 'team leader,' as the defense asserts," prosecutor Alex Whiting said in closing remarks that are scheduled to last several days. "Virtually all of the witnesses saw Limaj inside the camp and observed him to be the commander."
The case marks the first time the tribunal has tried ethnic Albanian rebels who operated as NATO's allies during the conflict with Serbia. The majority of cases at the U.N. court have tried Serbs.
Limaj and Bala pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of war crimes, including murder and torture. Musliu pleaded not guilty to eight counts of war crimes. All three were arrested in February 2003.
Whiting said Musliu commanded a unit at Lapusnik and had the power to order prisoners detained or released, while Bala was a guard at the camp who participated in beating and murders.
The conflict in Kosovo erupted in 1998 after years of tension. The war was contained after a U.S.-led bombing campaign in the spring of 1999 that forced former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic to pull his forces out of the predominantly Albanian province. Kosovo remains under U.N. and NATO control.
Earlier in the trial, Limaj, 34, said Milosevic's regime persecuted ethnic Albanians since the late 1980s when Serbia began stripping away the province's autonomy.
Limaj, founder of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, was elected to the Kosovo Assembly in 2001 and served as the party leader in the parliament until his arrest in 2003.
This was just the culmination of what Albanians were doing to Serbs in Kosovo since the 1980's.
They were doing it in the 1970's and before too. DTA said he taught students, there in Serbia, whose families had fled from Kosovo during the 1970's. Of course, the Yugoslav government and press kept quiet about this.
Well, yes, that is true. But they really started ramping up their program after Tito died in 1980.
The anti-Serb thugs around here will swear to the sainthood of these murderous Muhammedans.
clinton Legacy Bump!