news 28 Jan 17

Kosovo Victim’s Son Accuses KLA Guerrillas of Abduction

The son of an ethnic Albanian man killed during wartime told BIRN that Kosovo Liberation Army guerrillas led by war crimes suspect Remzi Shala took his father away in June 1998.

Naim Krasniqi, Die Morina
Remzi Shala during wartime.

Agron Perteshi, the son of Haxhi Perteshi, told BIRN Kosovo’s TV show ‘Justice in Kosovo’ on Friday evening that one of the guerrillas who took his father away on June 26, 1998 was war crimes suspect Remzi Shala.

Shala, who this month was charged with abducting an ethnic Albanian civilian suspected of collaborating with Serbia, denied the allegation.

Agron Perteshi said the KLA fighters who came to his house one evening and took his father away were wearing masks apart from one of them, who he recognised as Shala.

“My father gave a cigarette to that soldier and he asked for a lighter...I knew who that soldier was. He was Remzi Shala, who was known as ‘the Red Apple’,” said Perteshi.

“They had a simple conversation, like ‘how do are you getting on’... then Remzi Shala asked my father if he could go with them to talk more,” he added.

According to the indictment against Shala, in June 1998, he and other KLA fighters detained Haxhi Perteshi, who was found dead a few days later.

“After keeping him locked up for several days at an unidentified location, the dead body of Haxhi Perteshi was found near a road near the centre of the village of Dulje on July 1, 1998,” the indictment says.

Shala said however that he did not know Haxhi or Agron Perteshi, and that he did not smoke during the war.

He denied any involvement in the incident, saying that he was surprised when he was interviewed by the prosecution.

“I don’t have anything to do with what I am charged with… I do not know Haxhi Perteshi or Agron Perteshi,” Shala told BIRN.

He said that as a KLA fighter, he did not deal with people suspected of collaborating with Serbia.

Natal Bullakaj, Shala’s lawyer, also raised doubts about the statements given by the Perteshi family.

He said that the evidence provided by the witnesses did not give the exact date and time at which Haxhi Perteshi was taken from his house.

Bullakaj also said that Perteshi’s dead body was found in the village of Duhel/Dulje, which was under the control of Serbian forces at the time, not the KLA.

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