International

Kosovo president, indicted for war crimes, cancels trip to US

Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi will not visit the U.S. following his indictment in the Hague on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes, President Trump’s envoy for peace negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo said Wednesday.

Richard Grenell, the special presidential envoy for Serbia and Kosovo peace negotiations, said on Twitter that despite Thaçi’s absence, a meeting between representatives of Kosovo and Serbia will continue as expected on Saturday.

“The President of Kosovo has just informed us that he has canceled his trip to Washington, D.C. following the announcement made by the Special Prosecutors Office,” Grenell wrote on Twitter. “I respect his decision not to attend the discussions until the legal issues of those allegations are settled.”

Grenell added that a meeting on Saturday is expected to go forth between Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti and Serbia President Aleksandar Vučić.

“We look forward to Saturday’s discussions which will be led by President Vucic and Prime Minister Hoti,” he tweeted.

An indictment against Thaçi was made public Wednesday by prosecutors with a special court, located in the Hague, that is investigating war crimes committed in Kosovo between 1998 and 2000 against citizens of Kosovo and citizens of the then-Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

The indictment, filed in April, alleges that Thaçi, along with Kosovo political party leader Kadri Veseli, and others are responsible for at least 100 murders and complicit in enforced disappearance of persons, persecution and torture.

In a statement, the court said it was obligated to make the indictment public to counter a “secret campaign” by Thaçi and Veseli to undermine the court and evade justice.

“Mr. Thaçi and Mr. Veseli are believed to have carried out a secret campaign to overturn the law creating the Court and otherwise obstruct the work of the Court in an attempt to ensure that they do not face justice,” the statement read. “By taking these actions, Mr. Thaçi and Mr. Veseli have put their personal interests ahead of the victims of their crimes, the rule of law, and all people of Kosovo.”

The statement cited victims as “Kosovo Albanian, Serb, Roma, and other ethnicities and include political opponents.”

Tags Donald Trump Kosovo Richard Grenell Serbia The Hague War crimes Yugoslavia

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