Handwriting analysis, commissioned by defence lawyers, of a diary which forms part of the war crimes case against Kosovo politician Fatmir Limaj has concluded that the document was probably written by more than one person.
The court trying Kosovo's most sensitive war crimes case has accepted the analysis, ordered by Limaj's lawyers, as evidence that can be used in the trial.
Limaj and nine other former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) fighters 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.
Limaj’s defence team sent four pages of the diary to the Social Sciences Society in Albania, which concluded that at least four persons may have written the sample they analysed.
“Four documents, papers of A4 format, which were the object of our expertise, seem to not have been written by the same person, but were most likely written by four different persons,” says the summary of findings signed by the criminology forensic experts Hysen Kotri and Estref Myftari, which were adopted by the District Court of Pristina and listed as evidence in Klecka trial on Monday.
“This evidence is extremely important for the case,” said Karim Khan, Limaj's British defence lawyer.
Currently a lawmaker and vice-president of the ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), Limaj was a KLA commander during the Kosovo war.
Khan has repeated his request that Maurizio Salustro, the special prosecutor on the case from the EU's Rule of Law Mission to Kosovo (EULEX), should have his immunity lifted and be called to testify as a witness.
Limaj’s defence team on February 1 demanded the suspension of Salustro from the case so that he could testify and answer allegations that he put pressure on Zogaj to testify.
In the last session at the Pristina District Court, Salustro said he had immunity as an international staffer and would not testify in the case as Limaj's defence lawyers had demanded.
EULEX Chief Prosecutor Jaroslava Novotna also said last week that the Italian special prosecutor would not be dropped from the Klecka case, nor would his immunity be lifted so that he could testify.
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