Friday, April 4, 2008

Ramush Haradinaj Acquitted

It has been over two years since Ramush Haradinaj was indicted on war crimes charges, resigned, and went to the Hague to face the International Criminal Tribunal on Yugoslavia but the long court case came to a close yesterday with an acquittal handed down by the panel of judges for both Haradinaj and co-defendant Balaj. A third defendant, Haradinaj's uncle Brahimaj, was sentenced to 6-years for two cases of torture and cruel treatment. Small celebrations broke out in Pristina with fireworks and reports of celebratory gunfire. Serb newspapers spat fire and politicians slammed the release calling it scandalous. Meanwhile Kosovo leaders welcomed the verdict saying that it showed the KLA war was just. Haradinaj is expected to arrive back in Pristina today and has said he will dedicate himself to building a multi-ethnic Kosovo where all rights are respected.
In other Kosovo news, the EU has accepted the Kosovo constitution and it is expected to go into effect on 15 June 2008. The document is said to guarantee the full respect of individual and community rights as it incorporates many points from the Ahtisaari package proposed to the UN last year.