Friday, March 11, 2005

Haradinaj to appear in court on Monday

Former Kosovo prime minister Ramush Haradinaj will appear before the Hague Tribunal on Monday to plead to war crime charges.

He is charged with war crimes and breaches of the law and customs of war in incidents involving Serbs and other non-Albanians in Kosovo. The thirty-seven point indictment lists crimes between March 1 and September 30, 1998, but does not mention any incidents during the NATO bombing of the following year.

The indictment charges Haradinaj with persecution on the grounds of race, and political persuasion, murder, rape, crimes against humanity, abuse of civilians, destruction of property, unlawful imprisonment and deportation. The former prime minister is alleged to have been part of a joint criminal project whose goal was to put the Kosovo Liberation Army in complete control of the Dukadjin region around Peja and the expulsion of non-Albanian residents from the area.

The indictment claims that members of the Liberation Army under Haradinaj’s command attacked local Serb inhabitants as well as Albanians and Roma who were believed to be collaborating with Serbs. The former prime minister is also charged with being responsible for the death of 39 Serbs whose bodies were found in Radonjic Lake.

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