The government of Kosovo is planning to file a lawsuit against Serbia and genocide committed against civilians by the end of 2022.
However, legal experts are fearing that Kosovo might not be ending up on the winning side of this battle with the Serbian state given that the country is not a member of the United Nations and the International Court of Justice.
“The workgroup established by the preceding administration was exonerated upon an order signed by Minister Selimi and then a new group was formed that was tasked to carry out an assessment over the possibility to lay the foundations of the War Crimes Institute as a phase of this process. We have been assessing the preliminary analysis and the analysis started by the first Kurti administration, after that we will pass into a new phase which is the discussion and the approval of the law on the establishment of the War Crimes Institute”, experts said.
Ismet Salihu, a professor of International Criminal Law, says that the government must come up with a group that needs to work on gathering evidence for at least one year in order to present their argument in court.
“It would be good to touch upon war crimes in an offensive and in a way that is fair, particularly criminal offenses and genocide committed in Kosovo during the last war. Evidence needs to be collected, and then an official statement of accusation can be made on the genocide committed by the Serbian forces. This makes the job more challenging and I think we are guilty, especially for that group of people, or governments that we’ve had so far that, because they haven’t created even the smallest opportunity for collecting, arguing, and proving the crimes that have been made”, said Salihu.
The Republic of Kosovo is not a member of the UN nor the ICJ, hence professor Salihu believes that on a legal aspect it would be more fit for the lawsuit to be taken to the International Criminal Court.
“I am saying this exactly because this court was established to deal with international crimes which are against international humanitarian rights. Meanwhile, the International Court of Justice does not have jurisdiction and competencies to issue a ruling, it can only accept the lawsuit. It does not have the authority to prosecute an individual, or a group of persons, for war crimes”, he explained.
The executive director of the Kosovo Institute for Justice, Ehat Miftaraj, is skeptical that the country might file a lawsuit for genocide against Serbia in the near future.
Prime Minister Albin Kurti has declared that during his mandate he aims to file a lawsuit for the Serbian genocide in Kosovo at the International Court of Justice, something that has been mentioned several times also by former President Hashim Thaçi.
Earlier this week, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic took a critical stance and described the rhetoric used by the government of Kosovo as “a threat”.
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