Haradinaj to appear in Hague Oct. 28

HOLLAND

The Hague Tribunal has set October 28 as the date for the arraignment of ethnic Kosovo Albanians Ramush Haradinaj, Idriz Balaj and Lah Brahimaj.

The three are former members of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). After the 1999 war in the province, Haradinaj pursued a political career and was prime minister of the Kosovo Albanian government at one point.

In addition to the three defendants, the court will that day hear the arguments of the Hague Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) in the appeal proceedings, an announcement from the tribunal said this Wednesday.

Last year, the OTP appealed the acquittal of Haradinaj and Balaj and it requested a partial retrial so that the witnesses whose testimonies were not heard by the Trial Chamber in the original trial could take the stand.

The original verdict for Haradinaj and Balaj, issued in April 2008, found the pair not guilty on all 37 counts of the indictment for crimes – including kidnapping, torture, rape and murder – against Serbs, Roma and ethnic Albanians in the province in 1998.

The third defendant, Brahimaj, was sentenced to six years in prison for cruel treatment and torture of prisoners in the KLA compound in the village of Jablanica.

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