Kosovo’s court wake-up call

The “zombie court” of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC), a Hague-based technically national but truly international tribunal with nothing much to show five years after its creation, has resuscitated last week with three arrests, including two for witness intimidation and interference with the judicial process. The court’s reaction followed a massive and embarrassing leak of confidential information from the Office of the Prosecutor. Our partners from Asymmetrical Haircuts talk to Kosovo journalist Una Hajdari about the impact of the KSC and how it may affect, or not, the way most Kosovars think about the 1999 war and the crimes that were committed by the Kosovo Liberation Army.

Kosovo’s court wake-up call© Stringer / AFP
1 min 31Approximate reading time

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After years of gearing up (we did a podcast wondering when this zombie entity would get going) the Kosovo Specialist Chambers has sprung into action with three arrests.

One former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) commander was arrested and has now been charged with four counts of war crimes . The other two men arrested were members of a KLA veterans association that had been touting some pretty explosive material to the Kosovo and Albanian press for weeks; alleged leaked court documents detailing both indictments and the names of protected witnesses. The exact charges the men face have not yet been made public at the time of writing.

With so much going on it was time to call an old friend, Kosovo journalist Una Hajdari , who has been following this new court for years. She worked on a series of stories with Stephanie in Kosovo when it was being set up five years ago. Una now covers Eastern Europe and the Balkans for different media and we were lucky to catch up with her in Pristina on a videocall.

We spoke of the arrests, the impact of the court on Kosovo politics , the campaign to try and get justice for victims of rape during the Kosovo conflict.

Una recommends the podcast Sarajevo Calling and vows she doesn’t remember the time she sat down and read a book for fun. Instead she reads about the break-up of Yugoslavia online.

Asymmetrical Haircuts podcastASYMMETRICAL HAIRCUTS

This podcast has been published as part of a partnership between JusticeInfo.net and Asymmetrical Haircuts, a podcast on international justice produced from The Hague by journalists Janet Anderson and Stephanie van den Berg, who retain full control and independence over the contents of the podcast.