Bulgaria's Trendafilova named head of Kosovo's special court

A Bulgarian judge has been named to lead a special European Union court created to prosecute ethnic Albanian rebels for crimes committed during and in the immediate aftermath of Kosovo's war for independence.

The EU's rule of law mission appointed former International Criminal Court judge Ekaterina Trendafilova on Wednesday to head the Kosovo Specialist Chambers.

The court, based in The Hague, Netherlands, is expected to start operating in January. It hasn't yet publicly issued any war crime indictments against members of the Kosovo Liberation Army.

Some 10,000 people died and 1,700 went missing during the 1998-1999 Kosovo war. It ended in 1999 after NATO intervened on behalf of the Albanian majority.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, but Belgrade has not recognized the action.