During the period covered by the indictment, Hashim Thaçi was the Head of the Political and Information Directorates of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). By the end of March 1999, Thaçi was Prime Minister of the Provisional Government of Kosovo (PGoK) and KLA Commander-in-Chief.
During the period covered by the indictment, Kadri Veseli was a member of the KLA Political Directorate and Head of the KLA intelligence services. By late March 1999, following the formation of the PGoK, he became chief of the Kosovo Intelligence Service and PGoK Minister of the Intelligence Service.
During the period covered by the indictment, Rexhep Selimi was the Head of the KLA Operational Directorate. By at least August 1998, he was KLA Inspector General and by the end of March 1999, upon the formation of the PGoK, he became PGoK Minister of Public Order/Minister of Internal Affairs.
During the period covered by the indictment, Jakup Krasniqi was a member of the KLA Political Directorate and the official KLA spokesperson. Later in 1998, he was officially appointed as a KLA Deputy Commander. With the establishment of the PGoK, Krasniqi became the PGoK spokesperson.
The initial indictment against the four accused was confirmed on 26 October 2020 and made public on 5 November 2020. On 22 July 2021, the Pre-Trial Judge, in two decisions, granted in part the Defence motions and ordered the SPO to correct and amend the indictment by, inter alia, excluding the joint criminal enterprise III liability for the special intent crimes (three appeals against this decision, filed by Thaci, Selimi and Krasniqi, were dismissed by the Court of Appeals on 22 August 2022). The SPO filed the amended indictment on 3 September 2021. On 23 December 2021, the Pre-Trial Judge granted the SPO's leave to amend the indictment in order to include a number of new allegations, namely additional detention sites in Suharekë/Suva Reka municipality, new incidents of persecution and murder in Gjilan/Gnjilane as well as new incidents of the accused's personal participation in the charged crimes. Following the dismissal of the appeals by Thaci and Veseli against this decision by the Court of Appeals Panel on 22 March 2022, the SPO filed the public redacted version of the amended indictment on 29 April 2022. On 22 July 2022, the Pre-Trial Judge granted, in part, the request by the Thaci Defence alleging defects in the latest indictment and ordered the SPO to file a further amended confirmed indictment, with additional information to the current charges, by 30 September 2022. The additional information relates to names of relevant direct perpetrators, victims and locations in the specific paragraphs of the current indictment.
On 29 September 2022, the Pre-Trial Judge granted the SPO request to withdraw the allegations of crimes in Ferizaj/Uroševac municipality from the indictment and ordered the SPO to reflect this withdrawal of charges in the further amended indictment, which was filed on 30 September 2022. A lesser redacted version of the indictment was filed on 27 February 2023. This is currently the operative indictment in this case.
Summary of charges
The indictment states that the crimes charged were committed from at least March 1998 through September 1999 and took place in several locations across Kosovo as well as in Kukës and Cahan, in Northern Albania. They were allegedly committed by members of the KLA against hundreds of civilians and persons not taking part in hostilities. The indictment alleges that Thaçi, Veseli, Selimi and Krasniqi are individually criminally responsible, pursuant to various forms of criminal responsibility for crimes, which were committed in the context of a non-international armed conflict in Kosovo and were part of a widespread and systematic attack against persons suspected of being opposed to the KLA.
The charges are the following:
SIX COUNTS OF CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY
- Persecution (Count 1)
- Imprisonment (Count 2)
- Other inhumane acts (Count 4)
- Torture (Count 6)
- Murder (Count 8)
- Enforced disappearance of persons (Count 10)
FOUR COUNTS OF WAR CRIMES
- Illegal or arbitrary arrest and detention (Count 3)
- Cruel treatment (Count 5)
- Torture (Count 7)
- Murder (Count 9)
LINK TO THE OPERATIVE INDICTMENT
Following their arrest by the Specialist Prosecutor, Thaçi, Veseli, Selimi and Krasniqi were transferred to the Detention Facilities of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague on 4 and 5 November 2020.
Thaçi’s and Krasniqi’s initial appearances took place on 9 November 2020 before the Pre-Trial Judge, Nicolas Guillou. During their appearances, they pleaded not guilty to all counts of the indictment.
On 10 and 11 November, Veseli's and Selimi's initial appearances took place, respectively. Both accused pleaded not guilty to all counts.
On 21 April 2021, the Pre-Trial Judge granted the applications of nine victims and admitted them as victims participating in the proceedings as Group I. On 10 December 2021, 25 May 2022 and 14 December 2022, respectively, the Pre-Trial Judge admitted 11, 12 and 21 new applicants as part of the same Group. On 20 February 2023, the Trial Panel admitted 84 new applicants as part of the same Group. The last Panel’s decision on victims’ participation was on 10 March 2023, when 3 new applicants were admitted.
On 17 December 2021, the SPO filed, as strictly confidential and ex-parte, its pre-trial brief. The corrected version of the SPO’s pre-trial brief was filed on 24 February 2022 (also as confidential). In his oral order on 20 May 2022, the Pre-Trial Judge ordered the Defence teams to file their respective pre-trial briefs by 21 October 2022. Hashim Thaçi filed a public redacted version of his pre-trial brief on 8 November 2022, and Kadri Veseli on 13 March 2023.
On 10 May 2022, during their further appearances, all four accused pleaded not guilty to the new charges in the amended indictment, filed on 29 April 2022.
On 30 November 2022, the Pre-Trial Judge notified the President that the case file will be ready for transmission to the Trial Panel on 15 December 2022. On 15 December 2022, the Pre-Trial Judge transmitted the case file to Trial Panel II.
The trial preparation conference took place on 18 January 2023, followed by the Specialist Prosecutor's Preparation Conference on 15 February. The opening statements are scheduled to take place from 3 until 5 April and the presentation of evidence shall commence on 11 April 2023.
|Trial Panel composition||Judges Charles Smith III (Presiding), Christoph Barthe, Guénaël Mettraux, Fergal Gaynor (Reserve judge)|
|Defence Counsel||Thaçi: Gregory Kehoe (counsel), Dastid Pallaska, Pierre-Richard Prosper, Luka Mišetić, Sophie Menegon, Peter McCloskey and Albert Moskowitz (co-counsels)|
|Veseli: Ben Emmerson (counsel), Andrew Strong and Annie O’Reilly (co-counsels)|
|Selimi: David Young (counsel), Geoffrey Roberts, Eric Tully and Rudina Jasini (co-counsels)|
|Krasniqi: Venkateswari Alagendra (counsel), Aidan Ellis and Victor Băieșu (co-counsels)|
|Victims' Counsel||Simon Laws (counsel), Maria Radziejowska (co-counsel)|
|Number of participating victims||140|
|Pre-Trial stage||Trial set to commence on 3 April 2023|
|Pre-trial period length||28 months and 19 days|
*As of 26/03/2023
List of all hearings
Below you can find the list of all hearings in the Thaci et al. case. Please note that videos and transcripts will be added to the list as they become available. It will sometimes take days before a video or a transcript is available for certain hearings.
|Date||Type of hearing||Video recording||Transcript|
|09/11/2020||Initial appearance (Krasniqi)||Video||Transcript|
|09/11/2020||Initial appearance (Thaci)||Video||Transcript|
|10/11/2020||Initial appearance (Veseli)||Video||Transcript|
|11/11/2020||Initial appearance (Selimi)||Video||Transcript|
|10/05/2022||Further appearance (Thaci)||Video||Transcript|
|10/05/2022||Further appearance (Veseli)||Video||Transcript|
|10/05/2022||Further appearance (Krasniqi)||Video||Transcript|
|10/05/2022||Further appearance (Selimi)||Video||Transcript|
|18/01/2023||Trial Preparation Conference||Video||Transcript|
|15/02/2023||SPO Preparation Conference||Video||Transcript|