THE HAGUE, Oct 12 (AFP) -
The United Nations war crimes court decided Wednesday to lift some restrictions on former Kosovo prime minister Ramush Haradinaj, allowing him to take part in political activities with prior approval of the UN mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).
Haradinaj returned home to Kosovo in June on provisional release to await his trial on charges of war crimes committed during the 1998-99 Kosovo conflict.
Normally suspects awaiting trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague are not allowed to take part in public political activities or hold elected office.
But Hardinaj's defence asked the court to allow him as president of his party, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, to resume his activities.
The UN-mandated court agreed to the request to a limited extent and only with the approval of Haradinaj to do so to a limited extent and only with the approval of UNMIK. The decision does not mean that Haradinaj will be able to serve as prime minister again.
Haradinaj turned himself into the ICTY in March after resigning as prime minister when an indictment against him was made public.
He is accused of murder, persecution, rape and cruel treatment of Serb, Roma and Albanian civilians in Kosovo when he was a commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), an ethnic Albanian guerrilla movement in the 1990s.
UNMIK wrote in an assessment that Haradinaj's involvement in public political activities "would most likely contribute in a constructive manner to the positive development of the political security situation in Kosovo."
The court ruled that "taking into account the very special circumstances of the case, especially UNMIK's assessment of the anticipated positive effects of the accused's involvement in public political activities and the upcoming negotiations on the final status of Kosovo, there should be some possibility for (Haradinaj) to take part in public political activities and negotiations."
Any time Haradinaj wants to appear in public or engage in public political activities he has to first ask for UNMIK's approval.
The court also instructed UNMIK to allow Haradinaj to take part in public politics only if it would be "important for a positive development of the political and security situation in Kosovo."
The court requested bi-weekly reports from UNMIK on the situation and expressly stated that it could revoke the privileges it has granted Haradinaj at any time.