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ICTY prosecutor appeals war crimes acquittal of former Kosovo PM

[JURIST] International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website; JURIST news archive] Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz filed an appeal Friday against the court's acquittal of former Kosovo Prime Minister and Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) commander Ramush Haradinaj [TrialWatch profile; ICTY case backgrounder, PDF]. Brammertz asked that the case be retried before a different chamber of the tribunal, arguing that prosecution was not allowed the to present enough witnesses during trial. Haradinaj was charged [JURIST report] last year with 37 counts of war crimes, including murder, persecution, and rape [amended indictment, PDF], but the ICTY last month acquitted him of all charges [JURIST report], citing a lack of evidence. DPA has more.

Haradinaj was a senior commander of the KLA, the ethnic Albanian guerrilla force that opposed Slobodan Milosevic [JURIST news archive] during the 1998-1999 Kosovo war [BBC backgrounder]. Since the acquittal, Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica and other top officials have expressed concern [JURIST report] that the decision could heighten tensions in Kosovo and decrease the likelihood that fugitive war crimes suspects Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic [BBC profiles] would be caught.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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