President Thaçi requests that justice institutions bring to light the crimes committed during the war and post war period

Prishtina, October 10th, - President of the Republic of Kosovo, Mr. Hashim Thaçi, sent today four letters addressed to the Chief State Prosecutors Office and Prosecutorial Council of Kosovo.

These requests made by President Thaçi, addressed to the justice institutions of the country, are being made after the handing of all justice competencies held by the international community to the local institutions.

‘Thanking the professionalism, impartiality, dedication and determination of everyone working within the justice system today, we have managed to take into our hands the responsibilities we have never attained before. And, as these competencies have been transferred to local institutions, our responsibilities are even greater now towards the citizens of the Republic of Kosovo, in order to establish justice’- said President Thaçi.

Commencing from his constitutional mandate as President, to guarantee the constitutional functioning of the institutions and as the representative of the unity of the people of the Republic of Kosovo, President Thaçi said that today he has sent four letters addressed to the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor and to the Prosecutorial Council of Kosovo, in order to encourage them to pay particular attention to a number of cases which cause concern to the citizens of Kosovo.

“Crimes committed during and after the war in Kosovo, destruction of property, especially of the property related to cultural and historic heritage, are still awaiting to receive the deserved response by the institutions of justice’ – said President Thaçi.

In the first letter, President Thaçi has emphasized the need to involve ourselves with the war crimes commited in Kosovo during the war. ‘Well known cases of grave war crimes, as are the massacre on the Jashari family in Prekay, massacres in Recak, in Izbicë, in Abri të Epërme, in Krushë të Madhe, in Likoshan, in Mejë, in Dubravë, in Qyshk, in Lubeniq, in Grashticë, or anywhere else in Kosovo, must receive the deserved treatment bz the justice institutions’- said President Thaci.

In his second letter, he has asked for more attention to be shown to many other serious crimes, committed immediately after the war, or during the forthcoming years, as are the murder of the Bytyci brothers in June 1999, attempted assassination of the former President Ibrahim Rugova in March of 2005 and the assassination of certain public personalities. But also the cases like the ones in Gracke e Vjeter in Lipjan, the case in Gorazhdec, Peja , where two children were murdered and the case of the attack upon the Nish Express bus near Podujeva.

While in the third letter, President Thaci has also asked for attention to be shown to the monstrous crimes such as violation of individuals, especially of wo0men and girls during the war in Kosovo in 1998-1999.

“This wound has been kept silent for a long time, said Mr President.

But, according to President Thaçi, due to the bravery of girls and women, victims of these crimes, sufficient information has been gathered to understand the weight of these criminal acts.

‘For all those crimes, citizens of the Republic of Kosovo, their families as well as the whole Kosovar society, are in need of justice’-said Mr Thaçi.

And in the fourth letter, Mr President said that he has conveyed encouragements to the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor and to the Prosecutorial Council of Kosovo, to show particular attention to the bringing to light of the truth on the destruction of objects of joint cultural, religious and historic heritage.

‘According to many studies, over 200 objects or said differently, over 40 per cent of buildings of the Islamic religion, and 5 Catholic churches, have been destroyed or damaged systematically by the Serbian Army and Police. Also, a part of the Serb Orthodox heritage in Kosovo, of particular historic importance, has been damaged after the war. While we are proud that during the war, not a single building belonging to this heritage has not been violated, after the war there have been tens of attacks and destructions by individuals or criminal groups. I believe that all citizens of the Republic of Kosovo and other communities as well, as is the Serbian Orthodox Church, need support and encouragement, a serious show of proper approach by the justice institutions towards bringing to light these shameful and criminal acts’, said President Thaçi.

In some isolated cases, according to President Thaçi, these attacks have also had premises of extremism, which have caused tensions, which violate our year’s long tolerance, interfaith dialogue and inter-ethnic reconciliation.

“Through respect for historic heritage of each community, we may take our future into our hands and to build the story of our joint multi-ethnic and multi faith future of our society. This is Kosovo’s greatest wealth” –said President Thaçi.

At the end, President Thaçi expressed his full trust in the justice bodies of Kosovo, which, through their professionalism, dedication and impartiality, can provide answers to all these cases.

He said that the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor will enjoy the support of everyone in this mission.

Bringing to light the truth on these cases, according to President Thaçi, will also result in strengthening of the trust of all citizens and international partners in the justice system of Kosovo.