Hague Tribunal acquits ex-KLA commander

THE HAGUE -- The Hague Tribunal acquitted former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) commander Ramush Haradinaj of all charges on Thursday morning.

Ramush Haradinaj is seen in the courtroom after the not guilty verdict
Ramush Haradinaj is seen in the courtroom after the not guilty verdict

The court found Haradinaj not guilty on all counts of the indictment.

Former KLA members Idriz Balaj and Lahi Brahimaj were also acquitted. All three of them will be immediately released.

The judges determined that crimes were committed in the village of Jablanica but that the accused were not responsible for them.

The court stressed that there was no evidence that Haradinaj knew about the crimes in Jablanica.

It is expected that the prosecution will file an appeal.

Haradinaj, Balaj and Brahimaj were accused of crimes against non-Albanian, Serbs and Roma civilians in a KLA detention camp in Jablanica in 1998.

This was the first retrial in the history of the Hague Tribunal.

The initial verdict in the case was delivered on April 3, 2008, finding Haradinaj and Balaj not guilty on all counts of the indictment while Brahimaj was sentenced to six years in prison.

The prosecution appealed the verdict on May 1, 2008, and the Appeals Chamber ordered that Haradinaj, Balaj, and Brahimaj be retried on six of the total of 37 counts.