Kosovo President Thaci resigns after war crimes indictment confirmed

Kosovo's President Hashim Thaci speaks during a news conference as he resigns to face war crimes charges at international court in Pristina, Kosovo

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci resigned with immediate effect on Thursday after learning that the Kosovo war crimes tribunal had confirmed his indictment for war crimes.

“I resign today from the position of president,” Thaci told a news conference in the Kosovo capital Pristina, adding that his sources had informed him that the judge at the Kosovo Specialist Chamber in The Hague had confirmed his indictment.

“He will not allow me to appear before the court as president, therefore, in order to protect the integrity of the state, I resign today,” Tachi said.

He said that the head of Kosovo parliament will be acting president until a new one is elected.

In July, Tachi, who is the former senior commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) guerrilla group, met the prosecutors in The Hague to discuss alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity during Kosovo’s 1998-99 uprising against Serbian rule.

Prosecutors hold Thaci responsible for nearly 100 murders of civilians during the war. He denies any wrongdoing.

The Specialist Chamber was set up in The Hague in 2015 to handle cases of alleged crimes by KLA guerrillas during the war that led to Kosovo’s independence from Serbia a decade later.

The court is governed by Kosovo law but is staffed by international judges and prosecutors.

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