Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Appeal Against KLA Verdicts

(TU No 436, 20-Jan-06)
By IWPR
The prosecution also wants a stiffer sentence against former soldier Haradin Bala who received 13 years for war crimes committed in a KLA prison camp in the village of Lapusnik where Serbs and suspected Albanian collaborators were tortured and murdered in 1998.



The prosecution argues that the trial chamber did not apply the usual standard of proof, beyond reasonable doubt, but rather “entertained any doubt, including doubt not based upon logic and common sense”.



In the cases of Limaj and Musliu the prosecution raises a number of arguments, such as the fact that the judges did not fully consider the evidence that “personally placed” the two men at the Lapusnik prison camp and their command and control positions within the KLA.



The prosecutors also submit that the prison camp was in itself a joint criminal enterprise run with the purpose of “cruel treatment and torture” by the three accused, among others.



The prosecution asks the appeals chamber to overturn the judgement on four counts in the case of Limaj and three in the case of Musliu.



For the third defendant, the prosecution argues that the verdict “did not reflect the full scope of Hardin’s Bala’s criminal responsibility”. They call for him to be found guilty on a further three charges and say that his sentence “is manifestly inadequate when compared to other sentences rendered in the tribunal”.



Haradin Bala’s defence have also filed an appeal against his judgement and sentence calling for him to be released from jail immediately.



They argue a number of grounds for appeal including failure to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused was present at and personally participated in the murders of nine detainees in the Berisha mountains or that he aided and abetted any torture.