Idriz Balaj was born on 23 August 1971 in Iglavero in the municipality of Klina, in Kosovo.
He was subordinate to Ramush Haradinaj, reported directly to him, and worked closely with him.
Between 1 April 1998 and 30 September, at all times relevant to his indictment, Idriz Balaj was a member of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA – UÇK) and acted as the commander of the special unit known as the “Black Eagles".
In 1999, at the end of the hostilities, Idriz Balaj joined the Kosovo Protection Corps, and held the rank of Major. In Kosovo in 2002, he was condemned to a prison sentence of 15 years for murder.
On 24 March 1998, the forces of the KLA started a systematic campaign in order to drive ethnic Serbs out of Kosovo. The KLA forces, acting under the direct command of Ramush Haradinaj, and in particular the “Black Eagles” commanded by Idriz Balaj, reportedly harassed, beat, evicted, abducted, detained, tortured Serbian and Roma civilians of villages located in the region of Glodjane.
It is thought that between March and September 1998, 25 Serbian policemen were targeted and more than 60 Serbian and Albanian civilians were abducted and executed.
On 12 September 1998, a Serbian forensic crime scene team recovered at least 30 bodies or partial remains in the Radonjic Lake area. The bodies of 6 people were recovered in Ekonomija Farm and those of at least 3 other victims on the road of Dasinovac.
Idriz Balaj was indicted for these acts by the ICTY Prosecutor on 4 March 2005. On 9 March 2005 he was transferred from Kosovo, where he was serving his prison sentence for murder, to The Hague.
Trial Watch would like to remind its users that any person charged by national or international authorities is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Crimes against humanity
Deprivation of life
Infringment of physical integrity
Deprivation of liberty
Protection of civilians 10.12.2012