PRISTINA, Serbia-Montenegro (AP) - Defense lawyers for Kosovo's former prime minister filed a motion with the U.N. war crimes court in The Hague requesting his temporary release, his legal team said in a statement Friday.
The request was presented on Thursday and the prosecution, which has charged Haradinaj with 37 counts of war crimes stemming from Kosovo's 1998-1999 war, has fourteen days to respond, said Michael O'Reilly, the legal team's coordinator.
The Netherlands-based court is expected to make a decision on the request after the prosecution's response, he said.
The defense team asking for Haradinaj to be released and allowed to return to Kosovo until his trial, for which no date has yet been set.
Haradinaj's "exceptional personal and political reputation is confirmed by a wealth of high-ranking international politicians, military officials, and diplomats in and outside of Kosovo, who are firmly of the view that he will honor all conditions imposed by the Trial Chamber," the statement said.
"Given Mr. Haradinaj's position, the circumstances of his surrender, and his recent period of provisional release, there can be no basis whatsoever to believe that he will not return for his trial and fully comply with all of the Trial Chamber's orders."
The U.N. war crimes court indicted Haradinaj, 36, on March 8. He resigned as the province's prime minister and surrendered to the Netherlands-based tribunal the next day.
He has pleaded not guilty to 37 counts of war crimes allegedly committed in 1998, several months before NATO's air campaign forced Serbian troops to withdraw from Kosovo and end a crackdown on ethnic Albanians.
The former prime minister was a commander of the main ethnic Albanian rebel group battling Serb troops for independence during the 1998-99 war.
He is accused of leading a criminal plan to persecute, murder, rape and abuse Serbs and Gypsies in the ethnic Albanian-dominated province, and of participating in beatings and torture, including the abuse of ethnic Albanian civilians believed to have collaborated with Serbs.
Haradinaj was temporarily released to attend his brother's funeral last week, but was not permitted to talk to witnesses or the media while out of U.N. custody.