Für die Ermordung von 14 Kosovo Albanern im März 1999 in Podujevo, wurde der Offizier Sasa Cvjetan, a former member of the paramilitary unit 'Scorpions' Sasa Cvjetan, der "Skorpion" Einheiten zu 20 Jahren Gefängnis verurteilt.

part of HLC Newsletter No. 14, 22 June 2005

Podujevo Retrial 20 year sentence

On June 17 Sasa Cvjetan, a former member of the paramilitary unit 'Scorpions' was once again sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for the murder of 14 Albanian civilians in the town of Podujevo, Kosovo in March of 1999. The decision was made during the case's retrial, after an identical ruling made one year earlier was overturned by the Supreme Court. In his appearance, the defence claimed Cvjetan's confession to have been forced outside of the presence of his attorney. Despite welcoming the verdict, Ms Kandic reminded the court that 'more than one perpetrator took part in the Podujevo murders and this should have been reflected in the Prosecution's indictment.' The first trial of Sasa Cvjetan before the Belgrade District Court - the judgment later overruled by the Supreme Court thereby forcing the latest retrial - was the first for war crimes committed in Kosovo in which ethnic Albanians testified in a Serbian court. If it were not for the activities of the Humanitarian Law Center, compelling testimony given by the victims, four children who survived the massacre, would not have been heard. Had this been the case, in all likelihood justice would not have been done, and accountability efforts for gross humanitarian law violations in the Cvjetan case would have been flawed. The four Kosovar Albanian who gave testimony at the trial were represented by the HLC Executive Director and two HLC attorneys. 'It took a long while to persuade Kosovo Albanians to come to testify in Serbia. The four children remembered well the uniforms of the Serbian policemen who shot their mothers and siblings after lining them up against the wall of Halim Gashim's small house,' Ms Kandic said...................