KLA bases in Kukës, townspeople deny existence of prisons and dismiss allegations from The Hague

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The indictment charges from the Specialized Court towards former KLA commanders also mention the existence of several objects located in Albania, which were allegedly used for tortures, illegal detainment and murder of people of various ethnicities, mainly spies or opponents.

The indictment specifically mentions two bases used by the Kosovo Liberation Army at the county of Kukës, but Albanian authorities have rejected the allegations.

Euronews Albania went to these locations to check whether the objects are still in place.

While entering the city, at a nearby industrial area, we noticed a mechanics warehouse with a memorial plaque on it writing:

“The First Division was located in this house, where the people in charge of the general mobilization of the KLA took over their duties on a daily basis. In April, March and May the mobilization was carried according to the orders of the General Staff of the Kosovo Liberation Army”

Euronews Albania reporter, Ermal Hallaçi, took a look inside the building and noted that time had taken a toll on it.

The owner of the subject, Asllan Elezi, describes the difficult months from March to June 1999, when the building turned into a military bases of the KLA, although he denied categorically the existence of a prison at the premises.

Elezi said that a year ago the place was visited by prosecutors from The Hague who conducted a search in the area.  

“If I don’t know about it, then neither the soldiers do, because there has never been a prison here nor tortures. Last year, three prosecutors from the Hague together with some Albanian ones, arrived here to do some verifications. I was summoned at the police station that day and then they came and checked the place”, said Elezi.

The place still has KLA uniforms and various objects left by the soldiers.

Inside the building there were some beds and a medical room which served to treat the soldiers wounded during fighting. Elezi said that he personally took care to save all the items in order to prove the just war of the KLA.

According to testimonies, over 12.000 troops were treated at the subject, later on transferred to another KLA basis at the town of Vlahën.

Euronews Albania also visited the town of Nikoliq, while its townspeople also denied that a prison ever existed there.

“The Hague seems to be supporting Serbs more than those who suffered and were massacred”, said Jak Jaku, a man from the town of Nikoliq that sheltered KLA guerrillas during the war.

 

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