US presses Kosovo against amending war crimes court law

The U.S. ambassador to Kosovo says the country still needs an outside mechanism like the special war crimes court as its justice system is not yet capable of handling high-case profiles and witnesses are subject to intimidation.

Ambassador Greg Delawie on Wednesday was urging parliament not to pass an initiative from 43 Kosovo lawmakers to do away with a law on the Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor's Office.

The ambassador said "certain individuals who fought for the just cause of Kosovo's freedom committed egregious crimes against others for which they must be held accountable. "

The Hague, Netherlands-based court has jurisdiction over potential war crimes suspects, be they fighters of the Kosovo Liberation Army or other Kosovo citizens, for alleged war crimes during the 1998-1999 war and afterward.