A major investigation into allegations that senior Kosovo political figures ran a violent criminal network could be hindered by witness safety and other security concerns.
Relocating witnesses outside Kosovo and Albania is emerging as a key obstacle. A Western diplomatic source close to EULEX said the mission did not have any formal relocation agreements with large countries outside the region.
“Kosovo is a small country. If you can’t move witnesses and their families far away - in some cases forever - you won’t be successful in going after the big fish,” the source said.
Last week the U.S.-based group Human Rights Watch called on EULEX to appoint a special prosecutor based outside the region to investigate Marty’s allegations.
“The EU mission in Kosovo will face great obstacles to conducting a credible investigation into these serious allegations,” said Lotte Leicht, European Union director at Human Rights Watch. “It is crucial to have an independent senior prosecutor, an effective witness protection program - including the ability to relocate witnesses outside the Balkans - and the security required for such a delicate investigation.” […]
If they do find a way to relocate witnesses far, far away and forever — and considering how desperate Albanians are to get out of their beloved, hard-won Kosovo — investigators may find they have a huge supply of Albanians demanding to be witnesses. We’ll see a complete reversal in attitude by potential witnesses, as everyone and his mother will be clamoring to be endangered and in need of relocation to a distant land.
What greater incentive to get Albanians to talk than getting out of Kosovo? It’ll completely reverse the meaning of the Balkans saying “He lies like an Albanian witness,” as this trait will finally be put toward proper purpose.
Of course, given the perils of the long “Albanian reach,” the only witness protection program that could work would be resettlement into outer space. We may need to build a Kosovo witness colony on Pluto.
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