War crimes court orders retrial of Kosovo leaders

War crimes court orders retrial of Kosovo leaders
By Mark Tran, The Guardian, 21 Jul 2010

The Yugoslav war crimes tribunal has ordered a retrial for Kosovo's former prime minister, Ramush Haradinaj, two years after he was acquitted of murder, rape and torture.
The tribunal's president at The Hague, Patrick Robinson, said the original trial of Haradinaj and two other former commanders in the Kosovo Liberation Army was marred by witness intimidation and that the trial chamber "failed to appreciate the gravity" of the intimidation.
The most senior Kosovan Albanian to be tried for war crimes in The Hague, Haradinaj, 42, had been charged along with Idriz Balaj and Lahi Brahimaj with ethnic cleansing of Serbs as Kosovo fought for independence from Serbia.
Judges originally threw out charges against Balaj and Haradinaj, who was prime minister in 2004-2005, for lack of
The Prosecution appealed the acquittal of Haradinaj and Balaj on the grounds that the court had erred by refusing the prosecution's requests for more time to secure the testimony of two crucial witnesses. The appeals chamber – with Robinson dissenting – agreed to the appeal and ordered a partial retrial, on six counts of the original indictment, alleging mistreatment of prisoners at a KLA headquarters and prison in Jablanica.
Western opinion was divided on Haradinaj. Carla del Ponte, the former war crimes prosecutor, thought he was a war criminal, but Soren Jessen-Petersen, a former UN administrator of Kosovo, praised his "dynamic leadership, strong commitment and vision".

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