Balaj, Idriz

Idriz BalajIdriz Balaj was a member of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and the commander of the special unit known as the “Black Eagles” created with the approval of Ramush Haradinaj in April 1998. Balaj was subordinate to Haradinaj, a former leader of the KLA, working closely with him and providing direct operational support for the criminal activities in the Dukagjin Operational Zone during the 1998-99 conflict with Serb forces.

Balaj was indicted with Ramush Haradinaj and Lahi Brahimaj.  He was charged with 18 counts of crimes against humanity and 19 counts of violations of the laws or customs of war for crimes committed by KLA forces beginning 24 March 1998. The alleged crimes included harassment, deportation or forcible transfer of civilians, imprisonment, torture, murders, rape, abduction and cruel treatment.

On 14 March 2005, Balaj pleaded not guilty to all charges against him during his initial appearance before the ICTY. On 3 April 2008, the ICTY Trial Chamber I acquitted Balaj of all charges.

The Appeals Judgment was rendered on 21 July 2010.

The Appeals Chamber reversed the acquittal of Balaj ordering a re-trial on six counts in the indictment and the prosecution’s request to reverse Balaj’s acquittal on the counts of murder, rape and torture was rejected. An order was issued to bring the accused back to the detention unit where he remain pending further orders.

On 21 January 2011 the Prosecutor submitted the revised fourth amended indictment charging Idriz Balaj with violations of the laws or customs of war, and dropping the charges of crimes against humanity.

On 3 March 2011 Idriz Balaj submitted a request before the Appeal Chamber for clarification on operative indictment.

On 4 March 2011 Appeals Chamber dismissed the Idriz Balaj’s request for standing before the Trial Chamber.

Kosovo journalist found guilty of contempt
Research/ miscellaneous (Research Document)
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