Defence counsel for the former Kosovo prime minister seeks partial revocation of the ban on political activity of the accused, noting that Haradinaj's return to the political scene would have a "stabilizing effect" and would contribute to "the respect of the minorities and opposition groups at this delicate moment in the political evolution of Kosovo"

Ramush Haradinaj in the courtroomRamush Haradinaj in the courtroom

Ramush Haradinaj's political activity would have "a stabilising effect… at this delicate moment in the political evolution of Kosovo," the defence counsel of the former KLA commander and Kosovo prime minister claims in the motion seeking partial modification of the terms of his provisional release. If allowed to be politically active, Haradinaj will, as the leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, play "an essential and constructive role… particularly regarding the respect of the minorities and opposition groups."

In the decision of 6 June 2005, granting provisional release to Haradinaj, the Trial Chamber banned the accused from any public political activity in the period of the first 90 days after his release from detention. After this term expired, the decision stated, the Trial Chamber would re-examine the ban, if the defence requested it to do so, taking into account the conduct of the accused during the first three months of provisional release.

In the motion filed on the eve of the expiry of the 90-day probation, the defence notes Haradinaj's exemplary conduct and full compliance with all the terms set by the Trial Chamber. They seek partial lifting of the ban on political activity of the accused: Haradinaj would still not be allowed to hold any office in the government or other elected bodies in Kosovo, and would not play any formal role in the forthcoming negotiations on the future status of Kosovo. According to the defence motion, his involvement would be limited to "public and private political activities in Kosovo in his capacity as the leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo," on condition that those activities are not in conflict with the other terms stipulated in the decision granting provisional release. The hearing on Ramush Haradinaj's motion should be held in mid-September.

Idriz Balaj and Lahi Brahimaj have been indicted together with Haradinaj. They are still in the UN Detention Unit. The trial, as indicated at the last status conference, could start in January 2007 and should last, as the parties anticipate, between 12 and 18 months. The three former KLA commanders are charged of participation in a "joint criminal enterprise" – through a campaign of intimidation, abductions, detention, torture and murder – with the objective of removing Serbian civilians from the Dukagjin area and preventing the actual or perceived collaboration of Albanians and Roma with the Serbian authorities.