Kosovo’s PM Haradinaj resigns after being called to Hague war crimes court

20 Juillet, 2019, 07:58 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption The conflict that won't go away BBC correspondents explain the Kosovo war two decades

Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, a wartime commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), said Friday he has resigned after being called as a suspect before a war crimes court in The Hague.

The Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor's Office is a court that was established in 2017 at the EU's urging.

Mr Haradinaj said he would be questioned next week.

Previously, Haradinaj was charged with war crimes at the now-defunct International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. This is the second time he has had to resign as prime minister.

The outgoing head of government added that it is now up to Kosovo's president to begin consultations for the date of the elections.

The special EU-backed court was set up in 2015 to try war crimes allegedly committed by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) against ethnic minorities and political opponents.

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Asked about Haradinaj's case, Christopher Bennet, the spokesman for the prosecutor, told Reuters: "Rule 30 states that I have an obligation to protect the privacy of every individual".

Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj told a press conference in Pristina on Friday that he will not remain at his post because he can not be a head of government and a suspect at the same time.

Thaçi said he respected the prime minister's decision but said he believed in the "purity" of the war and in the "high moral values of the soldiers of freedom". "I will offer myself to the people again to get their trust".

Mr Haradinaj served as a commander of the KLA during the war with Serbia.

"Kosovo citizens will be informed in time", Thaci added.

Kosovo, with a 90 percent ethnic Albanian majority, declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and has been recognized by over 110 states, but not by five European Union member states, Serbia or Russian Federation.

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