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Yugoslavia: War Crimes Court To Be Set Up In Kosovo

Pristina, 27 April 2000 (RFE/RL) - International officials say they are setting up a war crimes court in Kosovo to relieve pressure on the province's own judiciary, which has been overwhelmed by the volume of postwar crime cases. The director of human rights and rule of law for the OSCE mission in Kosovo, Rolf Welberts, says the court will open in June.

The court will deal mostly with cases not taken up by the United Nations' international criminal tribunal in The Hague. But it will also be a vehicle for trying the interethnic hate crimes that have plagued the province for almost a year.

Welberts says the new court will have its own prosecutors and will be empowered to take on cases from other courts in Kosovo. To counter any suggestion of favoritism, the court's international judge will be flanked by an ethnic Albanian and a Serb.