Haradinaj arrested, transferred to Hague
21. July 2010. | 18:44
A former commander of the KLA, Ramus Haradinai, was arrested in Kosmet yesterday, on the basis of a sealed order by the Hague Tribunal, and was transferred to The Hague, where the Chamber of Appeals of the Hague Tribunal annulled his acquittal and ordered that his trial be repeated in part, Tribunal representative Nerma Jelačić confirmed after the presiding judge, Patrick Robinson, removed the confidentiality mark off the order for his arrest, issued on July 19.
A former commander of the KLA, Ramus Haradinaj, was arrested in Kosmet yesterday, on the basis of a sealed order by the Hague Tribunal, and was transferred to The Hague, where the Chamber of Appeals of the Hague Tribunal annulled his acquittal and ordered that his trial be repeated in part, Tribunal representative Nerma Jelačić confirmed after the presiding judge, Patrick Robinson, removed the confidentiality mark off the order for his arrest, issued on July 19.
Sustaining the prosecution’s appeal against the first-instance verdict of April 2008, the Chamber of Appeals ordered a repetition of trials of Haradinaj and two other Kosovo Albanians, Idriz Baljaj, acquitted in a first-istance procedure, and Ljah Brahimaj, whose first-instance sentence to six years’ imprisonment was confirmed by the Chamber of Appeals in the 37 counts of indictments for crimes committed against Serbs and others in a KLA camp near Decani, Kosmet, from March 1 to September 30, 1998.
Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic has welcomed the decision of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to annul the acquittal of wartime commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) Ramush Haradinaj.
Cvetkovic, who is on a one-day visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina, told the press following a meeting with Chairman of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Council of Ministers Nikola Spiric that he is pleased to see the Hague tribunal acting in line with the facts.
I understand that Haradinaj was acquitted because there was no evidence proving him guilty, but that he was not declared innocent. I presume new evidence has been found, the Prime Minister concluded.
President of the National Council for Cooperation of Serbia with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Rasim Ljajic has welcomed the decision of the Tribunal’s Appeals Chamber annulling the acquittal of wartime commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) Ramush Haradinaj.
Ljajic told Tanjug news agency that there were a number of shortcomings and failures during the first instance proceedings against Haradinaj and added that many witnesses did not dare appear while some were physically removed.
We in no way want to prejudge the decision of the court, but we are only asking for the full truth about the atrocities in Kosovo-Metohija that Haradinaj has been charged with, he said.
The decision on the detention of Haradinaj will help reduce the possibility of influence on the witnesses, he observed.
The head of the Office for Cooperation with the Hague Tribunal, Dušan Ignjatović, greeted the decision of the Chamber of Appeals of the Hague Tribunal to annul the acquittal of the former commander of the KLA, Ramus Haradinaj.This decision contributes to truth being established, he told Tanjug.
Ramush Haradinaj’s chief defense attorney Michael O’Reilly said that the defense was surprised by the decision to hold a retrial.
He said that the defense is now working on getting Haradinaj back to Priština as soon as possible.
“For us it is important to first secure a quick return of Mr. Haradinaj to Kosovo, and second, to determine the date of the retrial as soon as possible,” O’Reilly said, according to a statement from Haradinaj’s political party, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo.
“We believe in innocence and justice. We are surprised by the decision, taking into consideration the previous decision of the court that freed him from custody. Haradinaj’s defense will work on returning him home,” the party stated.
O’Reilly was also quoted as saying that it should be taken into consideration that Haradinaj was freed of all charges two years ago.
The lawyer further stated that the case "should be considered in a wider context".
Haradinaj's statement made today in The Hague was also quoted:
“Kosovo has made a lot of progress and we must believe in international institutions, despite some steps that lead backwards."