The Special Prosecutor’s Office arrested one of the founders of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), Salih Mustafa, on the basis of an arrest warrant and a confirmed indictment issued by a pre-trial judge of the Specialized Chambers of Kosovo (also known as the KLA Crimes Court).
“At the moment, Mr. Mustafa is being transferred to the detention facility of the Specialized Chambers of Kosovo in The Hague, where his first appearance before the court will be done without delay before a pre-trial judge,” the court said in a statement.
In accordance with the Law on Specialized Chambers and the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office, the police within the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office are authorized and competent to exercise the powers of the Kosovo Police under Kosovo law, the statement said.
In addition, the mentioned Law envisages that, on the basis of an order or warrant for the arrest of the Specialized Chambers, a person against whom the indictment has been confirmed will be detained, reports Tanjug.
New information on this case will be submitted in the coming period, it is stated in the announcement.
The first indictment of the Specialized Prosecutor’s Offices of Kosovo was filed on February 24.
Mustafa was questioned at the Special Court in The Hague last November as a former member of the so-called KLA.
Mustafa has been a member of the so-called KLA since 1988, and during the 1990s he was sentenced to five years for inciting an uprising.
From 1997, he was engaged in the work of the KLA in Priština, Obilić, Gjilan, and Kamenica, and after that, he led a special unit of the KLA called BIA, and after 1999 he worked in institutions in Pristina.
Among other things, he worked as the head of the intelligence service of the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) and was an intelligence adviser to former Prime Minister Agim Ceku.
For the first time, Mustafa pleads guilty before the judge
THE HAGUE – One of the founders of the so-called KLA, Salid Mustafa, who will be transferred today to The Hague to the Specialized Chambers of Kosovo, known as the KLA Crimes Court, will be brought before a pre-trial judge as soon as possible. of guilt over the charges against him.
If during the first appearance before the judge he does not have his hired defense counsel, the court secretary will soon make his defense counsel ex officio, who will be able to represent him in the further course of the procedure, according to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of that court.
At that first hearing, Mustafa will first be read the indictment in a language he understands and will be informed that if he wants to, he can immediately plead not guilty or plead guilty, and at the same time he will be informed that he can postpone it, and that plead guilty within 30 days.
The court rules warn that “from the refusal of the accused to admit guilt or to plead not guilty,” no negative conclusions must be drawn, “reports Tanjug.
The Rulebook also stipulates that at any time before the end of the proceedings, and preferably before the commencement of the proceedings, the specialized prosecutor and the defense may enter into a written plea agreement specifying the specific sentence or range of sentence, as appropriate, as well as possible compensation to victims.
After the first appearance of the accused, the pre-trial judge should take all measures for the expeditious preparation of the case for trial, and in the meantime convene status conferences to discuss the evidence to be presented at the trial and other procedural issues.
The trial will take place before a trial chamber, which will be appointed later.