Wednesday, October 12, 2005

UN war crimes court lifts some restrictions on former Kosovo PM

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.


Anonymous said...

A great news!

Anonymous said...

Many Serbs will be wondering whether the Hague is the same for all (Serbs, Croats, Macedonians, Albanians, Bosnians etc.)

And this is what I have to say to them:

The Hague is the same for all, nevertheless Ramush Haradinaj is not the same as Milosevic and all other war criminals.

I am aware that there are a number of anti-Albanians out there in the wild, who cannot wait for an opportunity like this to "prove their academic theories".

Again, I have this message for all anti-Albanians: the world (UN) has learned that it can work with Kosovars (Albanians) as equal partners and they can trust them in their actions, hence General Haradinaj is able to continue his life with little restrictions until his trial begins. This cannot be said about the Serbs.

Anonymous said...

It's good that Hague has decided to stick to innocent until proven guilty in a case prepared by Belgrade.

Prince of Albania said...

Also, they can trust us because not one indicted Albanian has run from the tribunal. Since we know that we are all innocent of the charges riased we have no reason to run but instead go there to clear our names. This is why the Hague has no problem releasing us from detention or even allowing us to engage in political life.
Serbs on the other hand take so long to get to the Hague that by the time the Hague has them in custody they would never release them again. I mean look at Mladic and Karadzic. These are real war criminals. And they have been running like pussies and hiding in holes in the ground like the rats that they are for 10 years now.
How ccan you expect the Tribunal to trust the Serbs.
< b >Anybody that says that we get special treatment from the Tribunal should look at our track record in dealing with them. We have shown special treatment to the Tribunal, we have never lied to them and never ran away from them!< b >