Court confirms that EULEX Special Prosecutor Maurizio Salustro is not obliged to testify in the case against Fatmir Limaj and nine other former KLA fighters suspected of war crimes.
A Kosovo court ruled out on Thursday that the European Union prosecutor in the sensitive war-crimes case will not need to testify, as defence lawyers had requested.
In Thursday’s session at the Pristina’s District Court on the so-called Klecka Case, the panel of judges decided not to ask Maurizio Salustro, special prosecutor of the EU's rule of law mission, EULEX, to answer claims that he intimated Agim Zogaj, the key witness in the case. Zogaj has since died.
The court said the prosecutor will not be called to testify since “not all the conditions were met” by the defence team to interrogate the Italian prosecutor.
EULEX's Chief Prosecutor, Jaroslava Novotna, last week said that the prosecutor would not be dropped from the Klecka case, nor would his immunity be lifted so that he could testify.
Ten former fighters in the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, of whom Limaj is one, have been indicted on suspicion of committing war crimes against Serbs and Albanians at a detention centre in Klecke/Klecka in 1999.
Limaj was a KLA commander at the time. All have all pleaded not guilty.
Limaj is currently vice-president of the ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo, led by the Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci, and an MP in parliament.
The Klecka case rests mainly on the key testimony of Zogaj, better known under the code name of Witness X, who killed himself last September in Germany before the trial started.
The court on Thursday also refused a prosecution request demanding for Limaj to be placed in jail and not kept under house arrest.
Salustro argued that the defendant had breached the rules and conditions for house arrest, as “he has met with those whom he is forbidden to met, including witnesses in the trial”.
Limaj has been under house arrest since the beginning of the trial. The court decided that the trial will resume on February 28.
The Pristina District Court is expected to decide later this month whether the testimony of Zogaj is relevant to the trial.
Limaj was earlier tried for war crimes committed at another prison camp before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY. He was acquitted in 2007.
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