THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – Defense lawyers for former leaders of Kosovo guerrillas, including ex-president Hashim Thaci, said Wednesday that their trial on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity cannot begin before the summer of 2022 at the earliest.
The comments came at a procedural hearing in the case against Thaci and three other former leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army who are in custody in The Hague awaiting trail on charges including murder, torture and illegal imprisonment allegedly committed during Kosovo’s 1998-99 battle for independence from Serbia. They deny the allegations.
A prosecution lawyer told the hearing at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers that the trial could start in the summer of 2021. Prosecutors plan to present evidence from around 200 witnesses and 1,500 items of documentary evidence.
Thaci‘s lawyer, David Hooper, responded that “a minimum of 18 months is necessary before we would be, I think, even contemplating being trial ready. I find the suggestion that