Monday, March 07, 2005

Kosovo PM to face charges from ICTY - Le Monde

PARIS - The International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia is about to confirm charges against Kosovo prime minister Ramush Haradinaj and issue a warrant for his arrest, Le Monde newspaper said on Monday.

Haradinaj’s senior political adviser said the prime minister had received no indication from the tribunal that he was about to be indicted.

“We’ve received nothing. There’s nothing new,” said Ardian Gjini. Haradinaj has said he is confident the probe against him will come to nothing but has indicated a number of times he would surrender if charged.

The French daily Le Monde quoted a judicial source in The Hague, where the ICTY is based, as saying a judge was about to confirm accusations against Haradinaj that were passed to the tribunal in December.

A spokesman for the tribunal was not immediately available for comment. It has interviewed Haradinaj, an Albanian, but it has not said whether he will be indicted for his role in the 1999 guerrilla war in Kosovo against Serb forces.

“A judge at the international criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) is preparing to confirm the charges against the Kosovo prime minister, Ramush Haradinaj,” Le Monde said in a report from The Hague. “After this, the judge should transmit an arrest warrant which will be given to authorities in Pristina.”

A spokeswoman for the United Nations administration in Kosovo said: “We have been having these stories over the past couple of weeks...We’ll know when we know from the ICTY. Otherwise, this is just speculation.”

Diplomats have said they fear a violent backlash if Haradinaj is charged, particularly in areas where he is regarded as a hero.

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