Former U.S. federal prosecutor Kimberly West has been appointed specialist prosecutor at the Special Court in Hague, which is investigating alleged crimes by members of the Kosovo Liberation Army against ethnic minorities and political rivals from January 1998 to December of 2000.
West will take over the role previously held by Jack Smith, who left the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) in November 2022 to take a position as a prosecutor in the investigation into the former president of the United States of America, Donald Trump.
She will be the third specialized prosecutor, after Jack Smith and David Schwendiman.
Alex Whiting, acting special prosecutor since November 2022, will continue to serve until West assumes her responsibilities.
Her biography says West has extensive experience in domestic and international criminal investigations with over two decades of prosecutorial experience in local, state, federal and international roles.
West has handled cases ranging from financial fraud to public corruption and has also worked on high-profile international criminal prosecutions.
She has served as Chief of the Criminal Bureau in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and as a prosecutor for 5 years at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in Hague, where she is said to have played a key role in the prosecution of Radovan Karadzic for his involvement in the Srebrenica genocide.
“The appointment of Ms. West brings a wealth of legal expertise to her new role as she takes on the responsibility of driving forward the work of the Specialized Prosecution,” the release said.
President of the Specialized Chambers of Kosovo, judge Ekaterina Trendafilova, expressed her congratulations to the new prosecutor, where she said that she “will undoubtedly serve the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office in the best way and will inherently contribute to the efficient fulfillment of the mandate of this office”.
The Specialized Chambers and the Office of the Specialized Prosecutor in Hague – otherwise known as the Special War Crimes Tribunal, investigate alleged crimes by members of the Kosovo Liberation Army against ethnic minorities and political rivals between January 1998 and December of the year 2000.
These crimes were first mentioned in a report of the Council of Europe, which was drafted by the Swiss senator, Dick Marty. The report paved the way for the establishment of the Special through voting in the Assembly of Kosovo in 2015.