PRISTINA, Kosovo — The Kosovo Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Hajredin Kuci today inaugurated the Kosovo War Crimes Institute. The establishment of a war crimes institute was announced about 6 weeks ago on 1st. of May. The proclaimed aim of the institute is the research, documentation and publication of war crimes in Kosovo. As to Minister Kuci the concerning activities shell be conducted professionally without political influence. According to the former announcement the war crimes institute will have the status of a public agency under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kosovo.
Its main focus will be to keep evidence of crimes and damages committed by Serbia in Kosovo during the time period 1990-1999. With its institute the Government of Kosovo aims at filing charges against Serbia at the International Court of Justice – as soon as this will be possible (after a still pending UN membership. In the meantime it serves to support according efforts of external institutions).
As the institute’s new director Minister Kuci introduced international law specialist Dr. Zejnullah Gruda: Prof. Dr. Gruda was born in 1936 in Peja. He holds a Magister degree from the law faculty of the University of Sarajevo and a Doctoral degree in political science from the University of Belgrade, where he also worked as a lecturer. From 1975-1978 Gruda was the Yugoslav ambassador in Panama. Later on Dr. Gruda served as the General Secretary of the Yugoslav Red Cross. Currently he is a University Professor with a special focus of his lectures on International Public Law. KON / NK
The issue of responsibility for war crimes
and crimes against humanity –
a contribution for the establishment of
common trust and cooperation
Gruda: war crimes documentation in Kosovo will take years
The new director of Kosovo's War Crimes Institute looks to the Nuremberg trials for guidance in pursuing criminals.
By Muhamet Brajshori for Southeast European Times in Pristina -- 26/08/11
Zejnullah Gruda. [Facebook.com]
SETimes correspondent Muhamet Brajshori sat down with Gruda to discuss the new institute.
SETimes: Will you conduct investigations or just collect evidence?
Zejnullah Gruda: War crimes are crimes that never become old. [We'll] work to document them, to collect evidence and data, systemize data, and publish it. By presenting the evidence the Institute can help the authorities put people on trial and prepare lawsuits for national and international courts.
SETimes: Who will be investigated, just Serbian and Yugoslav army and police, or will the KLA be included?
Gruda: When you speak about the crimes that occurred in the former Yugoslavia, what I believe is necessary to make clear in the beginning is who perpetrated the crimes, who carried out aggressive war, and who created a climate that was favourable to crimes.
I believe that under no circumstance can you equate the crimes carried out by the Yugoslav and Serbian troops or someone from the state structure [with the KLA], because this was a state policy which was created, planned and implemented with state mechanisms in which the media was used as one of the worst mechanisms to create a climate [via propaganda] in favour of war and crimes.
The Serbs began those wars by committing aggression against Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and then Kosovo, and according to the Nuremberg Statute, those are crimes in the first category of crimes against peace.