PRISTINA: A EU-led court yesterday acquitted a top ethnic Albanian guerrilla commander-turned-politician of war crimes during the 1998-1999 Kosovo conflict, saying the evidence of the key prosecution witness was “wholly unreliable”.
British judge Malcolm Simons, who chaired the court panel, said Fatmir Limaj and nine other former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) were found not guilty of war crimes against the civilian population and prisoners of war.
The defendants were retried for allegedly abusing Serb and Albanian civilians and Serb prisoners of war at the Klecka detention centre in central Kosovo during the war.
Limaj, currently a lawmaker in Prime Minister Hashim Thaci’s Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), was the commander of the centre.
The indictment was mainly based on the diaries and testimony of Klecka prison guard Agim Zogaj, known as “witness X”, who became the main witness in the case before he was found dead in a park in Germany in September 2011.
However, Simons said the court found out that Zogaj’s evidence “was not corroborated by reliable, independent evidence and was, in fact, inconsistent and contradicted by other evidence”. AFP