The KFOR official is asked about the uniforms worn by the KLA

Johan Fritsch

In the Specialized Chambers of Kosovo (DhSK) in The Hague, the testimony of the 64th witness of the Specialized Prosecutor's Office, KFOR official Johan Fritsch in the trial against Hashim Thaçi, Kadri Veseli, Rexhep Selim and Jakup continues on Wednesday. Krasniqi.

At the beginning of the hearing, the witness was interrogated by the prosecutor Vega Iodice, who focused on the uniforms of the members of the Kosovo Liberation Army during the period when KFOR was on mission in Prizren from June 13-14, 1999, reports "Oath for Justice".

Initially, the witness was presented with a video in which it was said that a person appeared in black uniforms, which he said that he has seen such clothing relatively often.

"Relatively often in those days such uniforms were seen", he said.

Fritsch said that he is not sure which formations used these uniforms, but that he thinks they were used by the KLA military police.

However, the witness said that there was a mix-up of uniforms and not all the same members were wearing the same uniforms.

“Yes, there were different mixes of partial uniforms. There were people who were dressed in black, some were dressed in patchwork, some were dressed in mixed uniforms and others. However, most of them had a distinctive sign, which was the black eagle," said Fritsch.

He also said that while they were on mission in Prizren, in the first days they saw KLA patrols on the streets.

"Yes, during the first days, after we entered the country, that is, after June 13 and 14, relatively for a short period we saw these things," said Fritsch.

The KFOR officer said that KLA patrolling the streets of Prizren was because the latter wanted to fill the vacuum that was created after the Yugoslav army was leaving and KFOR was coming.

"When KFOR forces entered Kosovo, the Yugoslav side had to withdraw from Kosovo within a few days according to the agreement. So, KFOR forces were entering Kosovo and for a short period of time there was a kind of vacuum and the KLA wanted to fill this vacuum...", said Fritsch, adding that in the first days there was a large presence of KLA in the city while later there were only a few individuals.

With that, the Prosecutor's Office ended its questions, and continued with Thaçi's defense through lawyer Nina Tavakoli.

On September 30, 2022, the Specialized Prosecutor's Office submitted the confirmed amended indictment against Hashim Thaçi, Kadri Veseli, Jakup Krasniqi and Rexhep Selim, which consists of ten counts, where the latter are charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity . 

On April 29, 2022, the Prosecutor's Office  of Specialized had submitted an amended indictment against Hashim Thaçi, Kadri Veseli, Rexhep Selim and Jakup Krasniqi, where it is claimed that the four accused have committed war crimes in Gjilan, Budakovo and Semetishte.

On November 9, 2020, in their first appearances, Jakup Krasniqi and Hashim Thaçi pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. Veseli stated the same in his appearance on November 10, as did Rexhep Selimi on November 11.

The indictment against Hashim Thaçi, Kadri Veseli, Rexhep Selimi and Jakup Krasniqi was confirmed on October 26, 2020. /BetimipreDrejteşi