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Fatmir Ljimaj

Trial in Klecka massacre case begins

14. June 2011. | 07:39 08:16

Source: Emg.rs, Tanjug

EULEX suspicion that Ljimaj committed the criminal offence of war crime is based on the statement issued by an associate witness, who said that Ljimaj ordered executions of two Serb officers in April 1999. All suspects are charged with murders, torture, abuse and violation of health of prisoners of war and Serb and Albanian civilians from Kosovo.

Under heavy police security, the Pristina District Court opened the trial on Monday in the case against a group of members of the former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) suspected of war crimes committed in the village of Klecka near Malisevo, Kosovo-Metohija, in 1998.

One of the suspects is Fatmir Ljimaj, MP of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, who is protected against arrest by his MP mandate, but who appeared at the trial on Monday.

The remaining eight suspects in the Klecka massacre case, who are being kept in detention, were brought before the court under heavy police security and the EULEX prosecutor has charged them with the war crime committed in 1999.

The Pristina District Court is expected to reach a decision on extension of suspects' detention on Wednesday, June 15.

EULEX Prosecutor Maurizio Salustro requested that the suspects' detention should be extended for another month because of the risk that they might exert influence on witnesses and the entire course of investigation.

Ljimaj, former KLA commander, was arrested in mid-May in his family home in Pristina's district of Caglavica but he was released after a two-hour interrogation.

On this occasion, he said that he is willing to renounce his MP mandate for the sake of investigation but he has not done it yet.

EULEX suspicion that Ljimaj committed the criminal offence of war crime is based on the statement issued by an associate witness, who said that Ljimaj ordered executions of two Serb officers in April 1999.

All suspects are charged with murders, torture, abuse and violation of health of prisoners of war and Serb and Albanian civilians from Kosovo.

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