Kosovo leader Thaci resigns over war crimes charges

7 months ago 1288

Published54 minutes ago

image copyrightEPA

image captionHashim Thaci confirmed he has resigned

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci has resigned from office, announcing that a special court at The Hague was indicting him for war crimes.

There was no immediate confirmation from The Hague. But a special prosecutor submitted accusations in June covering Kosovo's 1998-99 independence war against Serbia.

Mr Thaci denies any wrongdoing.

His decision comes hours after veteran Kosovo politician Jakup Krasniqi was arrested and taken to the Hague.

Mr Krasniqi, a 69-year-old former spokesman for the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) who was also a former Kosovo president, was detained in a raid on his home by EU police. He faces charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

What are they accused of?

The Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) in The Hague is investigating allegations that former leaders of the KLA committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the late 1990s. The accusations levelled against Mr Thaci by the special prosecutor at The Hague were passed to a KSC judge earlier this year ahead of a possible indictment.

The prosecutor accused the Kosovo leader of being "criminally responsible for nearly 100 murders", torture and enforced disappearances.

Mr Thaci said he was resigning to "defend the integrity of the state". He has been in power in Kosovo since the end of its independence war, which cost more than 10,000 lives and only ended after a Nato air campaign.

Kosovo declared its independence in 2008, and is not recognised by Serbia.

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