kosovo ex-fighter’s attorney asks court docket for warfare crimes acquittal

in his final announcement on the kosovo specialist chambers in the hague, the lawyer for former kosovo liberation military, kla unit commander salih mustafa urged the court to acquit his purchaser of all costs.

“the defence requests mr. mustafa to be found no longer responsible of all of the fees he’s accused of, he has never devoted any crime,” defence attorney julius von bone informed the court docket on thursday.

he said that mustafa, acknowledged in wartime via his nom de guerre commander cali, “has put himself in threat for plenty people even as serving the overall objective of the humans of kosovo, which was the gain of independence”.

during the kosovo struggle inside the overdue 1990s, mustafa became a commander within the kla’s llap operation zone in the country’s north-east.

he is accused of the arbitrary detention, merciless treatment, torture and homicide of civilians. consistent with the indictment, in april 1999, detainees were held at a kla compound within the village of zllash/zlas, deprived of meals, water, sanitation, hygiene, bedding and hospital treatment, and subjected to “beatings with numerous devices, burning and the administration of electrical shocks”.

von bone accused the special prosecutor’s office, spo, of having distorted the defence’s statements at some stage in its final arguments.

“the defence has never implied that the sufferers who testified in this situation have fabricated or made up their stories, because the spo said,” von bone stated.

he stated that the defence simplest had a differing opinion about whether or not mustafa “had any connection or now not with the vicinity” wherein the victims are speculated to were detained.

von bone also claimed that the prosecution even changed the witnesses’ stories in accordance with its very own arguments.

in keeping with the defence attorney, the indictment best mentions one building at the zllash zlash compound, while prosecution witnesses have mentioned numerous homes, making it unclear wherein they have been held.

“if the judges’ panel is able to bear in mind that the spo has changed its function then the defence desires to hear the spo witnesses again and we want to accept time to analyze and discover different human beings we can find who had been there at that point,” von bone said.

he claimed that several witnesses did not tell the fact because their testimonies in courtroom did no longer match what changed into said in the course of the investigation.

he cited one witness who allegedly turned into held at the same vicinity as the homicide victim, but during his testimony, the witness claimed he become held in some other building totally.

“all of these testimonies can’t be genuine in all the factors,” he stated.

in its closing arguments, the prosecution demanded a 35-12 months jail sentence for mustafa.

the previous unit commander become the first battle crime suspect to be arrested and transferred to the professional chambers, which were hooked up to prosecute kla opponents for crimes devoted at some point of the guerrilla war against the repressive rule of yugoslav president slobodan milosevic.

mustafa has been in detention in the hague due to the fact that overdue september 2020. his lawyer stated he has behaved well whilst in custody.

“mr. mustafa has persevered a hard and lengthy length of detention… he has no longer violated any of the orders which have been decided through the court docket,” von bone said.

final arguments within the trial have now ended and the decision is due to be introduced within ninety days.

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