EULEX Chief Prosecutor says Italian Special Prosecutor will not be dropped from the case, nor will his immunity be lifted so that he can testify as Fatmir Limaj's defence sought.
The EU rule of law mission, EULEX, has refused to remove its Special Prosecutor in the Klecka Case, Maurizio Salustro.
EULEX Chief Prosecutor Jaroslava Novotna on Thursday said the request of Limaj's defence team in the Klecka Case had no legal base, and was groundless.
“I refuse the request for the expulsion of EULEX’s Special Prosecutor Maurizio Salustro as demanded by the defence lawyer Karim A.A. Khan,” Novotna said.
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 Klecke/Klecka in 1999. Limaj was a KLA commander at the time.
Limaj and the others plead not guilty to charges of ordering the torture and killing of at least eight prisoners, mostly Serbs, in 1999 at Klecka.
The case rests mainly on the key testimony of Agim Zogaj, better known under the coded-name “Witness X”, who killed himself last September in Germany before the trial started.
Limaj’s defence team on February 1 demanded the suspension of EULEX prosecutor 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 answered that because he had immunity as an international staffer, he would not testify in the case as Limaj's defence lawyers had asked.
His statement was fully backed by EULEX’s Chief Prosecutor Novotna, whom reiterated that the law gives European and international personnel working in missions in Kosovo, immunity from prosecution.
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