Monday, June 06, 2005

UN court authorizes conditional release for Kosovo's ex-PM

THE HAGUE, June 6 (AFP) -

The UN war crimes tribunal on Monday authorized the provisional release of the former prime minister of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj, who is accused of rape and other atrocities during the 1998-99 conflict in the Albanian-majority Serbian province.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) immediately suspended the measure, however, in case prosecutors intend to appeal the move within 24 hours.

Florence Hartmann, a spokeswoman for prosecutor Carla del Ponte, said "we are studying this decision," without stating whether an appeal was planned.

Haradinaj, 35, turned himself in to the ICTY in March after resigning as Kosovo prime minister following his indictment by the tribunal.

In addition to rape, he is accused of murder, persecution and cruel treatment of Serbian, Albanian and Roma civilians in Kosova.

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