Kosovo: War crimes judge receives threats

A Kosovo Albanian judge who voted against a decision to send three former so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) members to jail has been suspended.

Rahman Ratkoceri stated that he was against the decision to find the three suspects guilty of committing war crimes.

The Court Council of Kosovo reacted to this by suspending him.

But Ratkoceri said he revealed his vote against the ruling because he received threats after the court chamber, that also included two international judges, voted to convict the three former KLA members accused of torturing civilians.

This was the first ruling since the EU mission, EULEX, was deployed in Kosovo, reports said.

Former KLA member, and member of the Kosovo assembly Rustem Mustafa was sentenced to four years in jail, while Latif Gasi and Nazif Mehmeti received six and three years respectively.

A UN court found the three guilty in 2003, “but the Supreme Court of Kosovo ordered a retrial”, said reports.

The Kosovo Albanian government has commented on the latest ruling by saying it was “bad news for Kosovo”.

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