The first trial before the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC), in the case of Salih Mustafa, is scheduled to open on 15 September at 9:30 at the premises of the KSC in The Hague and will be streamed with a 45 minute delay.
The indictment against Mr. Mustafa was confirmed on 12 June 2020 and the final version was made public on 28 September 2020.
He is charged on the basis of individual criminal responsibility and superior criminal responsibility with four counts of war crimes: arbitrary detention, cruel treatment, torture and murder. The crimes are alleged to have occurred at the Zllash detention compound in Kosovo in April 1999.
On the first day, the Presiding Judge will open the trial, have the indictment read out to the Accused, inform him of certain rights and obligations, and the Accused will be asked whether he has understood the indictment and whether he wishes to confirm his earlier plea. In this case the Accused has pleaded not guilty.
The Specialist Prosecutor’s Office will have three hours to deliver its opening statement. After this, the Counsel representing participating victims will have an hour and a half to deliver her opening statement.
So far, nine individuals have been admitted to participate in the proceedings as victims and the application process remains open. Persons who can demonstrate that they have suffered physical, mental or material harm as a direct result of a crime listed in a public indictment confirmed by the KSC, can still apply to participate in the proceedings. This may include both individuals who were directly subjected to harm, as well as individuals in a close relationship with a direct victim who was killed or injured.
The Trial Panel has scheduled several hearings in the course of September and October. The judges have indicated that the prosecution will have 87 hours to present its case. The prosecution intends to call 16 witnesses, 15 of whom would testify live.
The date and time for all public hearings can be found on the court calendar on the website of the KSC. All public hearings are streamed with a delay on website of the KSC and can be watched in any of the three languages of the court: Albanian, Serbian and English.
Recordings of public hearings will be made available on KSC YouTube Channel.