The January 2011 Council of Europe report of Rapporteur Senator Dick Marty contains serious and sensitive allegations of war crimes and organised crime. These allegations merit to be thoroughly investigated and it is important that these allegations are clarified. The SITF will follow the evidence wherever it may lead. However, this will be a complex and multi-national investigation which will take time to complete.
The fight against organised crime of all sorts is a priority and a strict obligation in the EU's relations with Western Balkan countries, including Kosovo.
In spring 2011, the EU Rule of Law mission in Kosovo (EULEX), with the full support of all 27 EU Member States, decided to set-up a Special Investigative Task Force with the view to further the investigation into the allegations contained in the CoE report.
The set-up of the SITF is a testimony to the importance the EU pays to the proper handling of this issue.
Mr. David Schwendiman of the United States is the SITF Lead Prosecutor. Mr Schwendiman brings with him a wealth of professional and academic experience working at the highest levels in both international and domestic criminal prosecution. Prior to joining the SITF, Mr. Schwendiman served, among others, in Afghanistan and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Mr. Schwendiman succeeds Mr. Clint Williamson, who was the SITF Lead Prosecutor from October 2011 until August 2014.
SITF at a glance
The SITF, formed in September 2011, consists of international staff only. It works under the authority of the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) and, in order to further reinforce the independence and confidentiality of the process, the SITF is partly based in Brussels.