BELGRADE, Nob 18 (AFP) -
A war crimes trial against a Kosovo Albanian accused of atrocities against civilians in 1999 opened in a special Serbian court here Friday, a report said.
The Beta news agency reported that Anton Lekaj pleaded not guilty to the charges of murdering four non-Albanians and abusing 13 others, mostly Roma, during the 1998-1999 war in the southern Serbian province of Kosovo.
"I do not recognise the accusations that have been made against me. I have at no time raped, injured or killed anyone," he told the special war crimes tribunal in the Serbian capital.
Lekaj, 25, was allegedly a member of a hardline ethnic Albanian separatist militia group which was fighting Serbian security forces to create an independent state in the tiny, mainly ethnic Albanian province.
His former commander, Ramush Haradinaj, stood down as prime minister of Kosovo in March this year to face charges at the UN war crimes tribunal at The Hague.
Lekaj was arrested for car theft in Montenegro in August and was transfered to Belgrade at the request of Serbia's war crimes prosecutor.