Kosovo President Hashim Thaci has been accused of war crimes by a special international prosecutor in The Hague.
According to the prosecutor, Thaci and nine others “are criminally responsible for nearly 100 murders”, torture and enforced disappearances during Kosovo‘s 1998 to 1999 independence war with Serbia.
Allegations of organ-trafficking against the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) – the rebel movement that Mr Thaci led – were first set out by a former Hague war crimes prosecutor, Carla del Ponte in 2008. The EU-backed court was set up to investigate the claims.
Kosovo’s government has angrily denied the allegations, calling them “baseless and defamatory” ahead of the publication of a report in 2011.
The prosecutor’s office made it clear in a statement that the indictment had not yet been proven, and also notes that the pre-trial judge had not yet made a ruling on confirming the charges.
Thaci has been in power in Kosovo since the end of the war.
The charges were made public as Thaçi was en route to Washington DC ahead of a White House meeting with Serbian president, Aleksandar Vučić, set for Saturday.
President Donald Trump hoped to broker a deal between the two countries, which have not normalised relations since Kosovo broke away from Serbia following a NATO bombing campaign, and declared independence.