Political party leader and former PM Ramush Haradinaj was arrested in Slovenia on a Serbian warrant that alleges that he committed war crimes during the 1998-99 conflict in Kosovo.
Haradinaj was arrested on Wednesday at Ljubljana airport over Serbian allegations that he committed crimes while he was a guerrilla commander with the Kosovo Liberation Army during wartime, his Alliance for the Future of Kosovo party said in a statement.
“While returning from an official visit to Berlin, the head of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj, was stopped at Ljubljana Airport in Slovenia, based on an arrest warrant issued in 2006,” the statement said.
The party said the arrest was an attempt to “smear Haradinaj and his personality” and called for his immediate release.
The Serbian war crimes prosecution is currently investigating Haradinaj in three cases, accusing him of the killing of at least 60 people.
However the former KLA commander was acquitted in 2012 by the Hague Tribunal of committing war crimes during the 1998-99 conflict.
The UN-backed court rejected allegations that he was part of a joint criminal enterprise to establish KLA control in western Kosovo through detention camps, and that he and others were responsible for the torture and killing of Serbs and Albanians who were believed to have collaborated with Serbs.
He said at the time that “international justice confirmed that our path to freedom was clean and just”. Serbia however claimed that the acquittal was unfair and the trial was flawed because of problems with witnesses.
Haradinaj, 46, served as prime minister of Kosovo for 100 days from December 2004 until March 2005, before willingly surrendering to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
Nicknamed ‘Rambo’ in Kosovo, he is considered by many in the country to be a hero of the war against Slobodan Milosevic’s regime.
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