News 28 Dec 10

Serbian Prosecutor: Kosovo PM ‘Threatening’ Witnesses

Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci has been accused of threatening witnesses who could back up claims made in the explosive Council of Europe report which alleges Thaci is an organised crime boss.

B92, Tanjug

The outgoing Prime Minister, whose party secured the largest share of the vote in the December 12 poll, said over the weekend that he has a list of witnesses who spoke to the CoE rapporteur Dick Marty, adding that, when the evidence is released, those involved would “go red.”

Thaci, as well as other Kosovo Albanian politicians fingered in the report, has strenuously denied the claims.

Serbian Deputy War Crimes Prosecutor Bruno Vekaric said Thaci’s comments were dangerous and alarming.

"It is very dangerous when someone who is about to be investigated is threatening to disclose the names of witnesses," Vekaric told the Belgrade-based Tanjug news agency.

It is a call for lynching and a threat to witnesses, he added.

Vekaric recalled that, under any law, and also in the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, disrupting criminal proceedings is considered a criminal act.

He hopes that international actors will now react to Thaci's statements.

“When someone, who said the day before yesterday that he wanted an honest investigation, suddenly starts speaking about how he will go public with a list of witnesses who had been cooperating with Dick Marty, I believe the person is really opposed to seeing the investigation conducted properly,” Vekaric explained.

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