ICTY prosecutor appeals war crimes acquittal of former Kosovo PM

ICTY prosecutor appeals war crimes acquittal of former Kosovo PM

[JURIST] International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website; JURIST news archive] Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz filed an appeal Friday against the court's acquittal of former Kosovo Prime Minister and Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) commander Ramush Haradinaj [TrialWatch profile; ICTY case backgrounder, PDF]. Brammertz asked that the case be retried before a different chamber of the tribunal, arguing that prosecution was not allowed the to present enough witnesses during trial. Haradinaj was charged [JURIST report] last year with 37 counts of war crimes, including murder, persecution, and rape [amended indictment, PDF], but the ICTY last month acquitted him of all charges [JURIST report], citing a lack of evidence. DPA has more.

Haradinaj was a senior commander of the KLA, the ethnic Albanian guerrilla force that opposed Slobodan Milosevic [JURIST news archive] during the 1998-1999 Kosovo war [BBC backgrounder]. Since the acquittal, Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica and other top officials have expressed concern [JURIST report] that the decision could heighten tensions in Kosovo and decrease the likelihood that fugitive war crimes suspects Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic [BBC profiles] would be caught.