Salih Mustafa is accused of crimes committed as ethnic Albanian KLA rebels fought to break away from Serbia.

The first case at a special court probing crimes from Kosovo’s 1998-1999 independence conflict is beginning in The Hague with the war crimes trial of a former rebel leader facing charges including murder and torture.

Salih Mustafa is charged with the war crimes of arbitrary detention, cruel treatment, the torture of at least six people and the murder of one person at a detention compound in Zllash, Kosovo, in April 1999. The victims were accused by KLA fighters of collaborating with Serbs or not supporting the KLA, according to his indictment.

His trial on Wednesday opened with Kosovo Specialist Chambers Presiding Judge Mappie Veldt-Foglia giving a history of the

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