The Serbian War Crimes Prosecution announced possible new indictments for the war crimes committed in the village of Cuska in Kosovo in 1999.
On Monday the prosecutor Dragoljub Stankovic announced that the new indictments related to war crimes committed in May 1999 in the village of Cuska near Pec, in Kosovo, could be expected soon.
The prosecution charged thirteen people, as members of the Jackals unit with the Serbian forces, with war crimes of killing at least 44 Albanian civilians.
The prosecution specifies that the accused carried out armed attacks and individual acts of violence as well as threats of violence, destruction of civilian property, looting, snatching personal property, aimed at personal gain and spreading fear among Albanian civilians in order to force them to leave their place of residence and move to Albania.
Before the Special Court’s Trial Chamber on Monday, Erzen Lushi, one of the survivors from the village of Cuska, testified once again via video-link. At the time of the attack Lushi was 17 year old and he said he was order by the soldiers to gather all the money from villagers and turn it over to them.
Asked to identify the perpetrators, Lushi replied he did not remember everything because 13 years passed since the event.
“Thirteen years have passed and it is difficult to remember the man who told me to gather the money. He had a typical army uniform, automatic rifle, and paint on his face,” said Lushi.
In his previous testimony on March 28, 2011, Lushi testified that during the attack on Cuska, his father, uncle and seven cousins were killed. He survived thanks to “soldier Boban who pushed him away and told him ’Go on now, go to your mother’“. His mother, together with other women, elderly and children was imprisoned in one part of the village.
One of the reasons for the attack on Cuska, believed by the Serbian forces to be one of the strongholds of the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, was that this was the birthplace of Agim Cheku, former KLA commander and current minister of Kosovo’s special forces.
During the attack, his father was killed and the Cheku family house burnt to the ground.
Asked by defendant Ratko Momic whether there were KLA forces in the village, Lushi said he did not remember, and even if there were, he would not have known about it.
The former commander of the 55th Battalion of the Military Police Rajko Baltic also testified on Monday, and said he could not specify whether the Jackals were paramilitaries or part of the regular make-up of the Yugoslav Army.
“I do not know whether you were paramilitaries or not. I only know that you showed exceptional courage in battlefield, patriotism and discipline,” said Baltic.
The witness was also not sure whether he heard about the name “Jackals” while in Kosovo or later, from the media.
The trial will resume on September 27 and 28.