Press

HARADINAJ ET AL.TRIAL TO BEGIN ON 5 MARCH 2007


Press Advisory
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)

The Hague, 28 February 2007

JP/MOW/PA303e





The trial against Ramush Haradinaj, Idriz Balaj and Lahi Brahimaj, former commanders of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), will begin on Monday, 5 March at 2.15pm in courtroom I.


The indictment against Ramush Haradinaj, Idriz Balaj and Lahi Brahimaj alleges that all three participated in a joint criminal enterprise, the purpose of which was the consolidation of total control of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) over the KLA operational zone of Dukagjin, by the unlawful removal and mistreatment of Serb civilians and by the mistreatment of Kosovar Albanians,
Kosovar Roma and other civilians, who were, or were perceived to have been, collaborating with Serbian Forces or not supporting the KLA.


The indictment alleges that, after 24 March 1998, KLA forces under the command and control of Ramush Haradinaj mounted a military campaign to seize control of the area between the villages of Glođane/Gllogjan and Dečani/Deçan and particularly the villages of Dubrava/Dubravë, Rznić/Irzniq, Ratiš/Ratishe and Dašinovac/Dashinoc and to drive ethnic Serbs out of the villages where they
were living.


The indictment also states that the KLA forces under the command and control of Ramush Haradinaj, including the "Black Eagles" under the direct command of Idriz Balaj, harassed, beat or otherwise drove Serb, Roma and other non-Albanian civilians out of these villages, killing those civilians that remained behind or had refused to abandon their homes.


According to the indictment, in mid-May 1998, a make-shift detention facility at the KLA headquarters in Jablanica/Jabllanicë was established. During their detention, detainees were given very little food or water, were regularly beaten and subjected to other forms of physical mistreatment and denied medical treatment for their injuries. A number of prisoners at the
Jablanica/Jabllanicë detention facility died as a result of their injuries, or were executed on orders of the accused.


A pre-trial conference will be held on Thursday, 1 March at 9.00 a.m. in Courtroom II; all accused will be present.




*****





Full text of the indictment can be found at

http://www.un.org/icty/cases-e/index-e.htm


All proceedings can be followed on the Tribunal's website www.un.org/icty.