Serbia’s ex-general indicted by EU prosecutors in Kosovo and Interpol wanted over slaughter of 377 civilians still free

Prishtina, 05 April 2023 – Serbia’s President, Aleksandar Vucic, is refusing to implement an Interpol international arrest warrant of 2017 on a former general, indicted by EU prosecutors in Kosovo court of Gjakova municipality, for slaughter of 377 ethnic Albanian civilians during the 1998-1999 Kosovo war of independence from Serbia.

In early 2015 prosecutors of the EU rule of law mission (EULEX) in southwest town of Gjakovë had charged the former general of Serbia and former member of Serbian parliament from Vucic’s ruling Progressive Party (SNS), Momir Stojanovic, of war crimes committed by Serbia forces on April 27 in the village of Meja.

The EU rule of law mission (EULEX) and Kosovan prosecution suspects a total of 17 Serbs along Stojanovic for war crimes against Ethnic Albanian civilians in the village of which 38 under 18 years old.

But eight years since the indictment, Serbian government is still refusing to send him and sixteen others to Kosovo for trial, despite the arrest warrant being issued by the UN mission (UNMIK) on behalf of Kosovo.

More than 12,000 Ethnic Albanians were slaughtered, around 20,000 Albanian women and girls were raped, 120,000 houses destroyed, 800,000 forcibly deported to Albania and Macedonia by Serbia’s army, police and paramilitaries then led by the late Slobodan Milosevic’s regime, whose minister of information was today’s Serbia President Aleksandar Vucic.

While relatives of Kosovo Albanians victims mourn and commemorate hundreds of mass murders committed by Serbia forces across the country, their calls for justice are being ignored by western justice institutions 24 years since the end of the war.

At the same time, the EU and USA sponsored special tribunal in The Hague Monday begun trial against four former leaders of Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), including former President Hashim Thaçi, indicted of war crimes.

Formation of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office was triggered by a report of the Swiss politician, Dick Marty, adopted in 2011 by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. 

Marty said in its report that Thaçi and his associates were involved in human organ harvesting of Serb and Albanian civilians during and after the 1998-1999 war, which they deny. But, the indictments by the prosecution do not include human harvesting allegations. The prosecution charges them of being responsible for killing of at least 102 civilians by KLA members.

The court imposed by the EU and the USA is treated by Kosovo Albanians as “mono-ethnic”, as tribunal’s prosecution is still ignoring war crimes committed by Serbia despite that EU foreign affairs ministers four years ago said that existing legal framework enables investigation and prosecution of “all alleged war crimes”.   

The EU Council of Ministers in June 2019 said that the law of August 2015 of Kosovo parliament, with which the court was formed, enables the court to tackle all crimes, including those committed by Serbia forces.

“The existing legal framework enables proper investigation and prosecution of all alleged war crimes,” reads the text of conclusions of the EU Council of June 2019.         

But no charges are filed against any members of Serbia forces so far, despite.

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