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Kosovar rebel commander faces war crimes trial this month

A former commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) is set to stand trial for war crimes in The Hague this month, a special international tribunal said Friday.

Pjeter Shala committed from February 21, during Kosovo’s war of independence in 1998-1999, when separatist KLA rebels fought forces loyal to then-Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic He will be tried for four alleged war crimes.

Shara, who came to be known by the nickname Commander Wolf, was the local military commander of the Albanian KLA during the war that followed the collapse of the former Yugoslavia, killing 13,000.

He is accused of crimes against civilians held by the KLA at the Kukes metal factory in Albania.

He faces charges of arbitrary detention, cruel treatment, torture and murder.

Shara tries former KLA combatants for war crimes at the Kosovar Chamber of Experts (KSC), Kosovar’s court in The Hague.

It is funded by the European Union and has international judges.

Shara was arrested in Belgium in 2021 and has denied any wrongdoing.

A court has investigated several former KLA commanders for possible war crimes.

Among them is former KLA political commander Hashim Thaci, who dominated Kosovo politics and became president of the small country after independence from Serbia in 2008.

Thaci stepped down in 2020 and faced charges of war crimes, including organ trafficking.

In December, a Kosovar court in The Hague handed down the first sentence to 26 years in prison for former rebel commander Salif Mustafa, who ran a torture center.

https://www.expatica.com/nl/general/kosovo-rebel-commander-to-face-war-crimes-trial-this-month-523142/ Kosovar rebel commander faces war crimes trial this month

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