Serbia concerned after Kosovo key witness found dead

29th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Serbian war crimes prosecutors on Thursday expressed concern after a witness against a top Kosovo official was found dead in Germany, saying one of their sources withdrew on hearing the news.

"Serbia's war crimes prosecution believes that justice in the region is jeopardised by the death of Agim Zogaj and is concerned at the information that the protected witness in the EULEX prosecutor's case against Fatmir Limaj has been found dead," a statement said.

"A potential witness informed a deputy war crimes prosecutor that he was no longer willing to testify following Zogaj's death," the statement added. It did not specify in which case the reluctant witness could have been used.

On Wednesday the EU police and legal mission in Kosovo (EULEX) confirmed that Zogaj, known as witness X in a case against top Kosovan official Fatmir Limaj, had been found dead in a park in Germany in as yet unknown circumstances.

According to local media reports, Zogaj had agreed to testify in the case of Limaj, one of the most prominent commanders of the ethnic Albanian guerrillas of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which fought the forces of the then Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic during the 1998-1999 war in Kosovo.

Limaj has been charged with nine other suspects for war crimes committed against civilians and prisoners of war in June 1999.

Limaj is now a lawmaker and deputy president of prime minister Hashim Thaci's ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK). He served as transport minister in Thaci's previous government.

Zogaj's identity was kept secret while he was alive as the main trial was expected to begin next month.

© 2011 AFP

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