Former Kosovo PM faces new war crimes trial

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia partially quashed the acquittal Wednesday of former Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The charges relate to 1998, when Haradinaj was a commander in the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and Kosovo was fighting for independence from Serbia.

Haradinaj was originally indicted in March 2005, along with Idriz Balaj, a former commander of a special KLA unit called the Black Eagles, and Lahi Brahimaj, who was a KLA deputy commander.

The indictment alleged the three men were part of a joint criminal enterprise to consolidate the KLA’s control over the Dukagjin area of western Kosovo through the unlawful removal and mistreatment of civilians.

Haradinaj was originally charged with 37 counts, but the trial chamber decided in April 2008 there was insufficient evidence to back up the charges and acquitted him, along with his co-defendants.

Prosecutors appealed, and Wednesday, the appeals chamber ruled in their favor.

The appeals chamber reinstated six of the original 37 charges against Haradinaj related to murder, torture, cruel treatment, and unlawful detention of civilians, tribunal spokeswoman Nerma Jelacic said from The Hague, Netherlands.

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