Ramush Haradinaj. | Photo courtesy of official Facebook page.

France releases former Kosovo PM from jail

Ramush Haradinaj, arrested in France on a warrant issued by Serbia, was released from jail but awaits further judicial proceedings before he’s allowed to return to Kosovo.

The Court of Appeal in Colmar, France has approved the request for the leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK, Ramush Haradinaj to be released. Haradinaj will await further court proceedings in France, where he is also expected to report to local authorities twice a week.

Haradinaj was detained on January 4 at the Basel-Mulhouse airport by French authorities on an international warrant issued in 2004 by Serbia. The warrant alleges that he committed war crimes while he was a guerilla commander with the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, during the Kosovo War in 1999.

Haradinaj was twice acquitted for war crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia in the Hague.

Arianit Koci, his attorney, told BIRN that Haradinaj cannot yet leave France and is obligated to report to French authorities twice a week.

Koci also said that Serbia’s request for extradition, sent on January 10, has not yet reached French authorities.

The AAK responded immediately after receiving the news of Haradinaj’s release. The party expressed its “surprise” towards today’s decision to not allow Haradinaj to return to Kosovo.

“We consider the decision to release him [Haradinaj] from custody but not allow him to return to his fatherland to be an incomplete justice,” the press release stated.

“We call on the judicial authorities in France to speed up procedures and to end any measures against Ramush Haradinaj, as he has been cleared of all allegations of war crimes at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.”

Earlier this week, the Kosovo Assembly held an all-day extraordinary session to discuss Haradinaj’s arrest. Most MPs agreed that the warrants issued by Serbia, due to which this year alone two Kosovo citizens were arrested and held in custody in Serbia itself, were politically motivated. Nevertheless, they failed to draft a common resolution about Haradinaj’s case.

Haradinaj was previously arrested in June 2015 at the airport in Ljubljana, Slovenia because of a warrant issued by Serbia in 2006.

12/01/2017 - 15:08

12 January 2017 - 15:08

Prishtina Insight is a digital and print magazine published by BIRN Kosova. For 8 years, PI has been reporting on current affairs, published exclusive investigations and longform features & essays about Kosovo and the region.