Kosovo PM questioned at war crimes court

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jul 24 2019 08:34 PM

Kosovo's former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj arrives at Pristina Airport after being called to The Hague war crimes court regarding Kosovo's violent independence struggle in Pristina, Kosovo, July 23, 2019. Laura Hasani, Reuters

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - International prosecutors questioned Kosovo's outgoing prime minister and wartime guerrilla commander Ramush Haradinaj on Wednesday in the latest in a series of war crimes proceedings against him.

AFP reporters saw Haradinaj leaving the hearing at the special court for Kosovo in The Hague along with Jakup Krasniqi, a spokesman for his former Kosovo Liberation Army, who was also questioned.

Haradinaj was questioned as a suspect.

"We have fulfilled our legal obligation, according to the laws in force," Krasniqi told reporters. He did not say whether he was questioned as a suspect or a witness.

Haradinaj, 51, resigned last week as prime minister after being summoned by the court.

Created in 2015, the tribunal investigates crimes allegedly committed by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) against Serbs, Roma and ethnic Albanian political opponents during and after the 1998-99 war.

Haradinaj has already been tried and acquitted twice for war crimes by another UN tribunal for former Yugoslavia.

"I always responded to (requirements) of national and international laws (but)... I also have my dignity", Haradinaj told AFP in January.

Haradinaj was the commander of the ethnic Albanian guerrillas in the Western Kosovo region of Dukagjin, where heavy fighting and abuse of civilians occurred on both sides during the war. 

Observers in Kosovo say he could be held accountable for having failed to prevent crimes committed by KLA members under his command.

The last conflict in the former Yugoslavia between the KLA and Serbian armed forces claimed more than 13,000 lives, including some 11,000 ethnic Albanians. 

"Freedom fighters always do what is right and just," Haradinaj wrote on Facebook.