EU police arrest war crimes suspect in Kosovo

[JURIST] European Union police officers on Thursday arrested a suspected war criminal in Kosovo. Sabit Geci is accused of being a former member of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) [GlobalSecurity backgrounder; JURIST news archive], which allegedly tortured prisoners at an Albanian prison during the 1998-1999 Kosovo war [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. The European Union Law and Justice Mission (Eulex) [official website], which arrested Geci, conducts war crimes investigations [BBC report] along with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the UN Mission in Kosovo [official websites]. The EU has stationed thousands of officials in Kosovo to conduct war crimes investigations and protect the justice system [AP report].

Last month, Council of Europe Commissioner on Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg [official profile] criticized an agreement [JURIST report] reached between Germany and Kosovo that would return to Kosovo thousands of refugees who fled to Germany during the Kosovo war. The agreement called for Germany to repatriate up to 2,500 refugees per year [AFP report] and ensured that refugees from all ethnic groups will face repatriation. Hammarberg worried that Kosovo does not yet have the infrastructure [DW report] to care for the returning refugees or to protect them from ethnically motivated violence. Also last month, Swedish police arrested a Serbian man [JURIST report] suspected of committing war crimes in the Kosovo village of Cuska during the war. In March, a spokesperson for Serbia's Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor [official website] announced the arrest of nine individuals [JURIST report] suspected of being members of the Serbian paramilitary group [B92 report] Sakali and accused of the systematic murders of 41 ethnic Albanians in May 1999.

 

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