Kosovo president Hashim Thaçi vows to resign if war crimes trial goes ahead | World news | The Guardian 1st July 2020


The indictment, yet to be ruled on by the pre-trial judge,

was made public in dramatic fashion last week, as Thaçi

was on his way to Washington for negotiations at the

White House.

The indictment was for a range of crimes against

humanity and war crimes, including murder, enforced

disappearance, persecution and torture. It named Thaçi

and one other Kosovo politician, former parliament

speaker Kadri Veseli.

The news scuppered the planned talks between Thaçi

and Serbian president Aleksandar Vučić, which had been

convened by Richard Grenell, Donald Trumpʼs Balkan

peace envoy. The two states have been in dispute since

the former Serbian province broke away after a Nato

bombing campaign in 1999, and a deal to normalise

relations would have brought a quick diplomatic win for

Trump shortly before the US presidential election.

Instead, Thaçi turned back and headed home. After

several days of silence, he surfaced on Monday evening,

with a televised address in which he protested his

innocence and used emotional language to describe his

personal feelings and his devotion to Kosovoʼs liberation

struggle. “Political mistakes in peace I could have made,

but war crimes, never,” he said.

However, he said he would not fight confirmed charges

while in office. “If the accusation is confirmed, I will

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