UN court orders retrial for former Kosovo PM Haradinaj

A UN war crimes court has ordered the former prime minister of Kosovo to face a retrial two years after he was acquitted on charges of murder, torture and rape.

UN court orders retrial for former Kosovo PM Haradinaj

A UN war crimes court has ordered the former prime minister of Kosovo to face a retrial two years after he was acquitted on charges of murder, torture and rape.

Ramush Haradinaj, a former commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) considered a hero by Kosovo Albanians, was acquitted two years ago of torture, murder, rape and deportation after judges found prosecutors had failed to prove a deliberate campaign to kill and expel Serb civilians from Kosovo.

But appeals judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia found that those trial judges erred by not giving prosecutors enough time to prove their case.

"It was clear that the trial chamber seriously erred in failing to take adequate measures to secure the testimony of certain witnesses," judges said in a summary of proceedings.

A former commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), Haradinaj was the most senior former KLA guerrilla to be indicted over the 1997-99 war during ethnic clashes between Albanians and Serbian forces.

After years in limbo after NATO drove out Serb forces. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February of 2008.

Lahi Brahimaj, a deputy commander of the KLA Dukagjin Operative Staff, and Idriz Balaj, a former commander of a special KLA unit known as the Black Eagles, were also included in the judgment and ordered to be retried on some of the charges.

The three will be detained pending further orders from the court, judges said.

The ruling comes a day before a separate court in The Hague rules on the legality of Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Temmuz 2010, 12:35

SeydiAli

YORUM EKLE