The ex-soldier begins his testimony, the ZPS says that he has knowledge of the way the KLA operates

Kurtesh Fondaj

In the trial against the former leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in The Hague, former KLA soldier Kurtesh Fondaj has begun his testimony. 

He is the 73rd Prosecution witness in the Court. 

According to the summary presented by the ZPS to the Court, Fondaj is a former KLA soldier in the Pashtriku Operative Zone. 

According to the Prosecutor's Office, he has knowledge of how the KLA General Headquarters functioned. 

"Witness number 4744 is a former KLA soldier. He will talk about the way the KLA General Headquarters functioned," said the prosecutor, Matthew Halling, in Monday's session. 

Members of the General Staff, former president Hashim Thaçi, former parliamentarians Kadri Veseli and Jakup Krasniqi, as well as the former head of the Vetëvendosje Parliamentary Group, Rexhep Selimi, were arrested on November 4 and 5, 2020. They have pleaded not guilty in the accusations of the prosecution.

Based on the indictment of the ZPS published in February 2023, Thaçi, Veseli, Krasniqi and Selimi are accused of joint criminal enterprise related to about 100 murders, then of torture and cruel treatment in about 40 detention centers during the period 1998- 1999. According to the ZPS, the accused were aware or should have been aware because of the leadership positions in the General Staff, related to the allegations about the crimes that were committed and had the intention of taking power in Kosovo through them.

The former heads of the KLA General Staff have denied all these accusations. They said that the KLA did not have such a hierarchy, since the main weight was the commanders of the areas and that it was intended to fight Serbia and not the civilians.