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Kosovo citizen indicted for alleged war crimes in 1999

Posted April 20

— Kosovo prosecutors have accused a citizen of war crimes during the 1998-99 war against Serbia.

The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo, or EULEX, said Thursday that a police reservist, identified only as Z.V., was charged with war crimes against the civilian population while serving as a police reservist and at a detention center in northern Kosovo.

EULUX said the crimes included "brutal and unlawful killings, inhuman treatment causing immense suffering, application of measures of intimidation and terror, property confiscation, pillaging and stealing of property."

Some 10,000 people died and 1,700 remain missing from the war.

Kosovo newspapers — Zeri and the online Gazeta Express — identified the suspect as an ethnic Serb who was wanted by Interpol. EULEX sources declined to comment on the suspect's identity.

The newspapers wrote that the man, who arrested last year in neighboring Montenegro and extradited to Kosovo, was the only indicted person so far for the massacre of 116 Albanians in Vushtri, 28 kilometers (18 miles) north of the capital of Pristina, on May 2, 1999.

Civilians hidden in the Shala and Bajgora mountains had climbed down looking for food. The murder of 116 civilians was one of the worst massacres by Serb forces during the war, the papers said.

The local press also wrote that the man is accused of torturing people at the Smrekovnica prison in Mitrovica, 41 kilometers (25 miles) north of Pristina, which "changed into a concentration camp for Albanians arrested during the war."

After the war, Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, which Belgrade has not recognized.

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