news 27 Aug 12

ICTY: Haradinaj’s Verdict Due in November

The Hague Tribunal, ICTY, is expected to deliver its final verdict in the retrial of the former KLA commander, Ramush Haradinaj, in November.

Fatmir Aliu
BIRN
Pristina

The Hague Tribunal charged Haradinaj, who briefly served as prime minister of Kosovo, and his two KLA comrades, Lahi Brahimaj and Idriz Balaj, in 2005 with participating in a joint criminal enterprise, the purpose of which was to take control of Kosovo, and with inhumane acts against Serb civilians in the Jablanica detention camp.

“The exact date of the judgment has not been announced yet but...it was expected to be rendered by November 2012,” the ICTY’s press office told Balkan Insight.

The former Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, commander for the Dukagjini zone, Haradinaj has been released provisionally in mid-July pending the final verdict in his retrial at the Hague Tribunal, after the court finished hearings in Haradinaj et al, case on June 27.

In 2008, Haradinaj and Balaj were acquitted of all charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity following a three-year trial at the ICTY. Brahimaj was sentenced to six years of imprisonment for cruel treatment and torture.

Haradinaj, Brahimaj and Balaj were returned to the ICTY for a partial retrial after the prosecution convinced an appeals judge that it had not been given sufficient time to hear the evidence from two key witnesses.

The trio in the case, known as Haradinaj et al, were previously indicted on charges related to the murder, kidnap, torture and rape of Serbs, Roma and Albanians between March and September 1998.

Haradinaj, 43, was indicted in 2004 while serving as Kosovo’s Prime Minister and voluntarily surrendered to the Tribunal. The leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK, enjoys widespread political support in Kosovo.

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Background

Timeline: Cases for War Crimes in Pec Villages

Timeline of events in the case against 13 former Serb fighters charged with committing war crimes in the villages of Cuska, Zahac, Ljubenic and Pavlan in Kosovo in 1999.

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