BELGRADE – Member of the “Gjilan group” a subgroup of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), Shemsi Nuhiu, accused “of war crimes” against Serbs civilians in Kosovo in 1999, was extradited to Serbia from Switzerland late Wednesday.
Accompanied by Serbian Gendarmerie members, Nuhiu was flown to Belgrade in a JAT plane which landed at Nikola Tesla Airport shortly after 9:35 pm, and was immediately transferred to the Belgrade district prison.
“The handover was carried out in the presence of Interior Minister Ivica Dacic, Director of Police Milorad Veljovic and Gendarmerie Commander Bratislav Dikic…” (Tanjug)
Nuhiu was arrested a year ago in Switzerland on warrant issued by Serbia, and the Swiss Federal Court’s extradition ruling became final on March 7.
He was tried in absence, along with 16 other KLA members, for war crimes against Serb civilians in the region of Gjilan. “At least 34 people are still considered missing, while no fewer than 153 people were illegally detained, tortured and then released…” (Tanjug)
A repeat trial against all 17 indictees started before “the War Crimes” Chamber on Wednesday. It will resume April 23, when Nuhiu will have a chance to plead on the charges and present a defense.
In December 2011, the Belgrade Appellate Court reversed the judgment sentencing nine members of the Gnjilane group to 101 years in prison for the killing and torture of civilians in 1999 and ordered a new trial.
“The War Crimes” Prosecutor’s Office has charged Nazif Hasani, Ahmet Hasani, Faton Hajdari, Samet Hajdari, Ferat Hajdari, Kamber Sahiti, Selimon Sadiku, Agus Memisi and Burim Fazliju with torture resulting in the death of at least 80 people between June and December 1999.
Defendants Ajdari Fazli, Aliju Redzep, Sacir Saciri, Musliju Sefket, Aliju Sadik, Aliju Idriz and Halimi Ramadan were tried in absence, and the indictment against them was subsequently separated.