news 11 Aug 17

Kosovo Albanian Detained for War Crimes Against Albanians

A Kosovo court remanded Agim Sahitaj in custody after prosecutors accused him of operating alongside Serbian forces to attack, kill, rob and expel Kosovo Albanian villagers during the war in 1999.

Die Morina, Agita Muhadri

A court in the town of Prizren on Thursday remanded Agim Sahitaj in custody for a month over claims that he committed war crimes against the Kosovo Albanian civilian population.

Kosovo’s Special Prosecution alleged that Sahitaj, who was uniformed and armed, acted with Serbian forces in April 1999 as they killed, wounded, beat and harassed Kosovo Albanian civilians, looted their possessions and forcibly expelled them from their homes.

“During April 1999, Agim Sahitaj, alongside members of Serbian forces, entered a house in the village of Sopi in Suhareka/Suva Reka, where he injured [a victim identified by the initials] S.E. in the right foot, while killing A.K., then the suspect shot in the direction of A.E., but fortunately did not hit the target,” Special Prosecutor Syle Hoxha said.

The prosecutor claimed that dozens of civilians were killed in Sopi on the same day.

“On the critical day, the same [suspect] in co-perpetration with other persons participated in lootings, beatings and mistreatment, and on the same day in the village of Sopi, 38 Albanian civilians without uniforms were killed,” Hoxha said.

The prosecutor added that the suspect and the other co-perpetrators also expelled the villagers of Sopi, forcing them to leave and head towards Albania.

Judge Artan Sejrani then remanded Sahitaj in custody.

“The suspect Agim Sahitaj is assigned a one-month detention, which will be counted from the time of arrest and will continue until 08.09.2017, due to the suspicion that he committed the criminal offence of war crimes against the civilian population,” judge Sejrani said in a written statement.

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