Albanian Daily News - Nov 10

Serbian Court Jails 12 Kosovo Albanians on "Terrorism" Charges

Albanian Economic Tribune
BELGRADE - A Serbian court on Tuesday jailed 12 Kosovo Albanians for 15 years after finding them guilty of terrorism, their lawyer told AFP.

The court found the 12 guilty of taking part in an operation by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in which four Serbian policemen were killed and many others were injured last year, said the lawyer, Husnia Bitiqi.

The 12, all from southern Kosovo region of Suva Reka, were arrested in September 1998. They were tried in Prokuplje, 250 kilometres (150 miles) south of Belgrade.

They were among 2,000 Kosovo Albanian prisoners transferred from the province into Serbian jails during the withdrawal of Belgrade troops in mid-June.

Another 12 Albanians, also accused of terrorism, were to be tried in Prokuplje on Thursday and Friday, Bitiqi said.

The trial of six ethnic Albanian students, arrested in May and also accused of terrorism, starts on November 22 in Belgrade, Albanian sources said. On October 26, a court in Belgrade released four students accused of the same charges.

Serbian Justice Minister Dragoljub Jankovic said recently that some 2,050 Kosovar prisoners, mainly ethnic Albanians, are detained in Serbia, many of them accused of being members of the KLA.

The ICRC has secured the release of 220 prisoners from Kosovo held in Serbian jails since the withdrawal of Belgrade troops from the Albanian-majority province in mid-June.

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