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EU Kosovo authorities arrest former commander for war crimes

The European Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) [official website] on Saturday arrested Fatmir Limaj, a prominent political figure in the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) [official website, in Albanian] and former commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). Limaj was arrested [B92 report] for his actions actions during the 1998-1999 war in Kosovo [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. He will face war crimes charges from his activities in the village of Klecka. Limaj previously faced war crimes charges [JURIST report] but was released when a crucial government witness committed suicide before testifying.

Kosovo was recognized as an independent state by the US and several major EU countries in February 2008, and the EULEX has been investigating war crimes [JURIST reports] since December 2008. Last year the EULEX sentenced a former ethnic Albanian rebel fighter [JURIST report] to five years in prison for crimes committed against civilians during the war in Kosovo. Also last year the EULEX charged 10 former members [JURIST report] of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), including Limaj, with war crimes.

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