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

Briefly Noted...

By Chris Stephen in The Hague (TU 302, 24-28 February 2003)
By IWPR

Fatmir Limaj, the Kosovo war crimes suspect who went skiing days before NATO had planned to arrest him, turned himself in to Hague authorities this week.


Limaj, the first senior member of the ethnic Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army ever indicted by The Hague, popped over to Slovenia for some skiing earlier this month – just before NATO, acting on instructions from The Hague prosecutors, swooped to arrest him.


Red-faced officials admitted Limaj, accused of responsibility for murdering detainees at a prisoner of war camp, had left the province on a regular flight.


But their blushes were spared when Limaj, 32, reading about the fuss in the newspapers while relaxing in the Slovenian ski resort of Kranjska Gora, handed himself in to local police.


And this week he boarded a regular flight from Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana, to The Hague.


Limaj’s lawyer, Peter Ceferin, told reporters that his client would plead not guilty and wanted to appear in court quickly.


MYSTERY MAN GETS LIFELONG PROTECTION.


The mystery witness in the Milosevic trial known only as K2 has won a promise of lifelong protection from The


Hague.


The witness, who was involved in the murder of Serbian warlord Zeljko Raznatovic, known as Arkan, gave evidence for the prosecution in the Milosevic case.


He told the court he was once a member of the Serbian interior ministry’s special operations unit. The Hague took more than 100 pages of testimony from K2, and is likely to support some form of resettlement for him.


JUSTICE.


If, as expected, the 18 judges being inaugurated by the International Criminal Court in The Hague on March 10 fail to agree immediately on who should be president, the task will fall, at least until a presidential election, to the oldest judge.


This happens to be 69-year-old Karl Hudson-Phillips from Trinidad and Tobago.


Hudson-Phillips is a popular judge, but there is second reason why he deserves the post - the process that led to the formation of the ICC was begun by Trinidad and Tobago.


In 1989, this tiny Caribbean country asked the UN to open discussions on forming an international criminal court to deal with drug smuggling.


The irony is that fourteen years later the court exists - but it has no powers to deal with drug smuggling.


With this in mind, it seems only proper that Trinidad and Tobago should be compensated by seeing its own man installed to this senior position.


Chris Stephen is IWPR bureau chief in The Hague.


More IWPR's Global Voices