Thaçi: Regret for the victims, accusation of organ trafficking is false, former KLA leaders defend themselves in The Hague

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“I am innocent of all charges, but I am prepared to face this new challenge for the sake of my family and my people.”

On the second day of the trial against him and three other former KLA commanders, former President Hashim Thaçi addressed the Special Court in The Hague, where the defense team spoke. Thaçi expressed regret for all victims of the conflict from 1998 to 1999, but stated that one injustice cannot be compensated by another one.

According to him, the trial lifted a “black cloud” over Kosovo, relating to former Swiss senator Dick Marty’s allegations of organ trafficking by members of the Kosovo Liberation Army.

Former President Thaçi’s defense team denied the special prosecutors’ claims that the KLA had a policy of targeting opponents in court. According to the lawyers, Thaçi did not have control over the KLA from March 1998 to September 1999, when the alleged crimes were committed. The defense team emphasized that local commanders were in charge at the time.

The defense lawyer emphasized that Thaçi had no motivation to commit the crimes he is accused of because he was aware that the KLA’s success was dependent on international support, particularly from the US, which offered assistance to the KLA in exchange for conditions such as avoiding attacks on civilians. Thaçi, Veseli, Selimi, and Krasniqi are accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity on ten counts.