Former Kosovo prime minister and KLA commander seeks to be provisionally released from detention. According to Haradinaj, the establishment of the Tribunal is “a big mistake of the international community”

Ramush Haradinaj in the courtroomRamush Haradinaj in the courtroom

Ramush Haradinaj – former KLA commander accused of the crimes against Serbian civilians in Kosovo and Albanians suspected of collaboration with the Serbian authorities – seeks provisional release from the UN Detention Unit pending trial arguing that he meets all the criteria set by the Tribunal.

In a written motion, Haradinaj’s defense counsel remind the Trial Chamber that as soon as the indictment was made public on 8 March 2005 Haradinaj resigned from his post as the Kosovo prime minister and surrendered to the Tribunal voluntarily. In addition to his personal guarantee that he would return to The Hague for the trial and would not pose a threat to the victims and witnesses, his defense submitted the guarantee given by the UN Special Representative in Kosovo Soren Jessen-Petersen.

The defense stresses that Haradinaj has abided by all the conditions imposed by the Tribunal during his three-day provisional release this month, when he was allowed to travel to Kosovo for his brother’s funeral.

The defense attached to their motion a number of statements by Kosovo politicians, former KFOR commander Klaus Reinhardt, and Soren Jessen-Petersen, who all state they believe that Haradinaj will honor his obligations towards the rule of law and the Tribunal. Haradinaj said something to that effect when he surrendered on 8 March. His statement is also appended to the motion:

“I have worked for the establishment of a democratic society… that in itself means cooperation with international justice, no matter how unjust it may be at this moment,” Haradinaj said. In his opinion, “the international community has made a great mistake when it created a tribunal which treats the freedom fighters the same way it treats aggressors that destroyed entire peoples. I wish to believe that this mistake was unintentional." Haradinaj added that he knew he was not responsible for any of the things he was charged with and that he knew the court would verify this.