Ex-Kosovo premier cleared of war crimes
PRISTINA, Kosovo — A former prime minister of Kosovo pledged on Thursday a return to political life after a U.N. war crimes tribunal acquitted him for the second time of murdering and torturing Serbs and their supporters in Kosovo's war for independence.
Ramush Haradinaj returned to jubilant crowds in Kosovo and was given the red carpet treatment and greeted by Prime Minister Hashim Thaci.
“I am happy that international justice has confirmed our path to freedom was just and clean,” Haradinaj said. “I will work with all of you to move this country forward.”
The verdict was issued in the U.N. court's first retrial, which was ordered after appeals judges branded the 2008 acquittals of Haradinaj and Kosovo Liberation Army fighters Idriz Balaj and Lahi Brahimaj a “miscarriage of justice” because of widespread intimidation of prosecution witnesses.
Brahimaj was convicted of torture at the first trial and that was not retried, but he has served his sentence and will be released with the others. The acquittals herald a political renaissance for Haradinaj, seen by the West before his 2005 indictment as a unifying force in Kosovo, but could complicate talks between Pristina and Belgrade.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Ukrainians told to halt joint drills with U.S.
- ISIS ravages centuries-old archaeological site in Iraq
- Boko Haram attack kills 68, targets children in Nigeria
- U.S. Ambassador to South Korea stable after facial surgery for knife wounds
- Ex-wife of late Argentine prosecutor: Death was a homicide
- American politicians hail travel ban by Venezuela’s socialist President Maduro
- Deal ‘paves Iran’s path’ to nukes, Netanyahu says
- Islamic State reign of terror unabated in Syria
- China slowdown spurs interest rate cuts
- Netanyahu arrives in U.S., signs of easing of tensions over Iran speech
- Boko Haram beheading video mimics Islamic State propaganda