TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Ex-Kosovo premier cleared of war crimes

AP
Former ethnic Albanian rebel commander and former Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, smiles as he arrives in capital Pristina, Kosovo on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012. A U.N. war crimes tribunal has acquitted the former prime minister of Kosovo and two of his former Kosovo Liberation Army comrades for the second time on charges murdering and torturing Serbs and their supporters in Kosovo's war for independence. ( AP Photo / Visar Kryeziu )

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, 9:50 p.m.
 

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.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Cuba lays out list of demands for improved relations
  2. Leaders mark Auschwitz liberation 70 years on without Putin
  3. 14 officers in China who allegedly ate salamander, beat reporters taken off job
  4. Obama ‘pays respects’ to late Saudi Arabian monarch
  5. Jordan agrees to ISIS swap, releasing suicide bomber to get pilot back
  6. Islamic State forces chased from Syrian Kurdish city
  7. Obama trip to India yields series of modest proposals on trade, investment
  8. Jewish leaders fear another Auschwitz
  9. ISIS affiliate claims hotel bombing in Libya that killed 10, including American
  10. Leader of Venezuelan congress denies bodyguard’s allegations
  11. Turmoil confronts new Saudi king on several crucial fronts