5 members of KLA war crimes group freed
|11 January 2011 | 09:59 | Source: Tanjug|
|BELGRADE -- The War Crimes Trial Chamber of the Belgrade High Court revoked the detention of five members of the so-called Gnjilane Group of the KLA.|
Spokeperson of the court Dušica Ristić confirmed this for Tanjug on Monday.
The defendants were imposed prohibition to leave current place of residence without approval of the court, Ristić added.
The Trial Chamber, headed by judge Snežana Nikolić-Garotić, revoked the detention of Ahmet Hasani, Nazif Hasani, Ferat Hajdari, Kamber Sahiti and Burim Fazli after almost two years since their arrest.
Faton Hajdari, Samet Hajdari, Selimon Sadiku and Agus Memisi, who were arrested in Preševo on December 26, 2008, will remain in custody.
The trial of the Gnjilane Group of the ethnic Albanian so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) is in its final stages and will be continued by the defense giving its closing arguments, after which the court will make its final ruling.
The War Crimes Prosecution proposed to the court earlier that the group's members should be found guilty because it had been proven that they had brutally killed and tortured civilians in Gnjilane (eastern Kosovo) in 1999.
During the trial, it was proven that from June to December 1999, the defendants, then members of the KLA, have tortured, killed, raped and inhumanely treated Serb and non-Albanian civilians, prosecutor Mioljub Vitorović said in his closing argument before the War Crimes Trial Chamber of the Belgrade High Court.
According to the indictment, in their capacities as officers in charge of the Gnjilane KLA unit, defendants Ajdari Fazli, Alija Redzep and Sacir Saciri were ordering other members of the unit to arrest Serbs and imprison them in basements of the Gnjilane secondary school dormitory, where the victims suffered cruelties such as having their nails pulled out with pliers, knives stabbed in their tongues, cigarette lighters hammered in their skulls, and ended up strangled by bags and strings.
To hide the crimes, the defendants were cutting the bodies into pieces and putting them in sacks, which were then being thrown into garbage containers next to the dormitory or thrown into Lake Livočko near the town of Gnjilane.