Pristina District Court will decide on Thursday whether a European Union Prosecutor should be called to testify in Fatmir Limaj's war crimes trial.
A Kosovo Court will decide on Thursday whether to ask a prosecutor for the European Union rule of law mission, EULEX, to testify in the biggest war crimes trial in the country.
The decision was made on Wednesday, after Pristina District Court postponed the matter for another 24 hours, a week after Fatmir Limaj's defence lawyers demanded the right to question Maurizio Salustro on claims that he intimidated the key witness, who is dead.
The decision was expected to be made at Wednesday’s sessions, but the court cancelled the trial without explanation, and scheduled resumption of the trial on Thursday.
Limaj and nine other former fighters in the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, have been indicted on suspicion of committing war crimes against Serbs and Albanians at a detention centre in the village of Klecke/Klecka in 1999.
All 10 defendants have pleaded not guilty to charges of ordering the torture and killing of at least eight prisoners, mostly Serbs, in 1999 at Klecka.
Key testimony in the case was provided by Agim Zogaj, also known as "Witness X", who said he was a guard at the camp and made notes in his diary about events there. Zogaj was found dead last September in Germany, having apparently killed himself.
Handwriting analysis commissioned by Limaj's defence lawyers of a diary that forms part of the war crimes case concluded that the document was probably written by more than one person.
British lawyer Karim Khan, who is defending Limaj, has claimed that the findings of the Albanian experts “shake the foundation of this trial”.
Currently a lawmaker and vice-president of the ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, Limaj was a KLA commander during the Kosovo war, known by the nom-de-guerre “Commander Steel.”
In the last two hearings, the defence attorneys and prosecutor Salustro debated on the need to call him as a witness, on the grounds that the notebooks left by Witness X claimed he intimidated Zogaj and made him sign papers in English, which he didn’t understand.
Salustro said in Tuesday’s debate in court that the allegations against him were “ridiculous” and looked alike those that appear TV soaps.
He said the issue of his diplomatic immunity, as an international servant in Kosovo, may require further interpretation by the Constitutional Court of Kosovo.
Salustro said in previous court sessions that his immunity as an international staffer meant he need not testify in the case as Limaj's lawyers had demanded.
EULEX Chief Prosecutor Jaroslava Novotna said last week that the prosecutor would not be dropped from the Klecka case, nor would his immunity be lifted so that he could testify.
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