Norwegian Ambassador to Kosovo calls for Haradinaj’s release

The Norwegian Ambassador to Kosovo Sverre Johan Kvale called on the Hague Tribunal to temporarily release war crime suspect Ramush Haradinaj.

In the initial trial in April 2008, the Tribunal acquitted Haradinaj of charges for crimes committed in Kosovo in 1998.

However, the Appeals Chamber demanded on July 21, 2010, that the trial be repeated for six out of 37 points of the indictment, which refer to crimes which were committed from March to September 1998 against prisoners in the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) prison camp in the village of Jablanica.

The former KLA leader was immediately arrested and placed in prison at a sealed order issued by the Tribunal.

In a letter submitted with the defense’s renewed request for Haradinaj’s temporary release, Kvale stated that he personally knows the leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) and fully supports his release until the trial begins.

Haradinaj is a necessary figure not only for his party, but also for Kosovo’s political scene, primarily for the establishment of a credible democracy, the Norwegian ambassador noted.

The letter was submitted alongside the request of the defense, which serves as a response to the document filed by the prosecution that opposes the request for the temporary release of the former prime minister on grounds of possible danger the release may cause to the witnesses and the integrity of the trial.

In the decision for repeating the trial, the Appeals Chamber assessed that the first process was not a fair one, because two key witnesses were not examined as they refused to come forth due to intimidation and harassment.

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