Serbia accuses EU over possible release of ICTY detainee
A Serbian government minister Wednesday slammed the European Union after the bloc's mission in Kosovo agreed to vouch for Ramush Haradinaj, a former Kosovo premier who may be released from detention in The Hague, DPA reports.
Kosovo Minister Goran Bogdanovic warned the EU it risked becoming an "accomplice in the obstruction of justice" over the affair.
His comment came a day after the EU's rule of law mission in Kosovo, EULEX, agreed to provide guarantees that Haradinaj would not return to political activity were he to return to Kosovo.
Haradinaj was acquitted on all 37 counts of war crimes against Serbs during the 1998-1999 Kosovo conflict. But he was re-arrested in July and now faces a re-trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) amid accusations that the first trial was marred by the intimidation of witnesses.
"It is no secret that witnesses against Haradinaj's group miraculously disappeared or changed their testimony," Bogdanovic said. "It is also no secret that the court ... had no power or will to protect witnesses."
The ICTY had asked EULEX to provide a series of guarantees before deciding on whether to grant his release ahead of the re-trial.
"In terms of the proposed conditions of provisional release proposed in the motion and referred to in your request, I can confirm that EULEX Kosovo is willing and able to assume the requested responsibilities," EULEX head Roy Reeve told the ICTY.
Haradinaj faces charges of murder and cruel and inhumane treatment of prisoners allegedly committed by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), an ethnic Albanian guerilla group.
The former premier, a KLA commander at the time of the conflict, has retained the role of president of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) but would not be allowed to engage in any political activity.