Following the publication today, on 5 November 2020, of the confirmed indictment against Hashim Thaci, Kadri Veseli, Rexhep Selimi, Jakup Krasniqi, victims of the alleged crimes contained in this indictment may now apply to participate in the proceedings if they can demonstrate that they personally suffered harm, including physical, mental or material harm, as a direct result of alleged crimes contained in the confirmed indictment. A Judge will then decide whether a person who applied can become a participating victim.
“The voices of victims are indispensable to justice. Through their Counsel, participating victims can exercise the rights provided to them by our legal framework and ensure that their voices are heard by the competent Judges,” said President Ekaterina Trendafilova.
Participating victims in proceedings before the KSC will form one or more groups. Each of these groups participates through a lawyer, known as the “Victims’ Counsel”. Victims’ Counsel may make submissions before the competent Panel and will keep the victims informed throughout the proceedings. Victims’ Counsel will seek victims’ views, hear their concerns and bring these to the attention of the competent Judges. Victims who participate in proceedings before the KSC have certain rights, including the right to notification, acknowledgement and reparation.
“Victims’ participation is a key programme to our institution. Following intensive outreach in various communities in Kosovo and Serbia to inform people about the rights of victims before the KSC, we are now entering the next phase of proceedings. The Victims’ Participation Office is prepared to make every effort to assist persons in completing their applications,” said Registrar Fidelma Donlon.
Speaking about the importance of victims’ participation, Specialist Prosecutor Jack Smith said, “The alleged crimes contained in the indictments filed by my office are serious crimes and in the course of seeing that justice is done, we must not lose sight of the suffering of the victims. Participating in the proceedings can be an empowering experience for victims and one which ensures that their voices are heard.”
Detailed information on victims’ participation and how to apply can be found at: https://www.scp-ks.org/en/specialist-chambers/victims.