Serbia charges Kosovo Albanian with war crimes

Published on July 18, 2007, Associated Press

Category: Islamic Terror in Kosovo

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) -Serbian war crimes prosecutors on Wednesday charged an ethnic Albanian man for his role in the 1998 killing of eight Serb civilians during the Kosovo war. Sinan Morina, who was arrested in 2006 in neighboring Montenegro and extradited to Serbia, was charged with "expulsion, imprisonment, torture, rape and killing of eight Serb civilians," the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

Morina and other 34 members of a rebel ethnic Albanian group based in Orahovac, central Kosovo, allegedly abducted Serb civilians from the nearby village of Opterusa, took them away and executed them, the statement said.

The group of Serb villagers, including an 11-member family, were missing for years until their bodies were found in 2005 in a cave and identified through DNA tests.

Some of the victims were shot. Several were said to have been thrown off a cliff.

Kosovo has been under U.N. and NATO control since the 1998-99 conflict. Dozens of ethnic Albanian men, although indicted by Serbian prosecutors as alleged KLA fighters, remain out of reach for Serbian authorities.

Morina traveled to Montenegro in late 2006, however, and was arrested during a car theft, according to the authorities in the two countries. Montenegrin police, after finding Morina's name on a list of persons sought by Serbia, handed him over to the neighboring country.

The indictment in Belgrade comes at a sensitive time, with Kosovo's future status being decided among the key world players. Kosovo's ethnic Albanians are seeking independence from Serbia and have expelled thousands of Serbs from the province.


Related Articles: