Haradinaj to appear before French court "on Thursday"

Ramush Haradinaj will again appear before a French court on Thursday, his lawyer, Arian Koci, has been quoted as saying.

Source: Tanjug
Haradinaj (R) is rushed into the courthouse in France last Thursday (Tanjug/AP, file)
Haradinaj (R) is rushed into the courthouse in France last Thursday (Tanjug/AP, file)

Albanian-language media in Pristina are on Monday quoting Koci as saying that his client, the leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, "could be released on bail, but without the right to leave France."

According to these reports, cited by Serbia's state broadcaster RTS, Haradinaj could be released "due to the lateness of the case from Belgrade and the process of completing the documentation for his extradition, the deadline for which is 18 to 40 days."

Pristina media also quoted unnamed international sources who said Serbia was preparing the documentation necessary to seek Haradinaj's extradition from France, and that he would be kept in custody until it has been submitted.

Once the documents have been sent, Haradinaj will again appear before the court, when a final decision is also expected.

Haradinaj was arrested in France on January 4, on an international warrant issued by Serbia. His defense has in the meantime asked a French appeals court to release their client.

Haradinaj - a former commander of the KLA ("Kosovo Liberation Army") who in the past also served as Kosovo's prime minister - is wanted by Serbia on suspicion that he committed war crimes in Kosovo. These crimes were not included in the Hague Tribunal's case against Haradinaj, which ended in his acquittal.

The war crimes against civilians cited in Serbia's indictment took place in the Dukadjin ("Dukagjini") zone during 1998 and 1999.

Haradinaj will spent at least 18 days in jail in France, while his further detention will depend on a decision to be made by the French legal authorities. Last Thursday, a court decided to keep him in prison until Serbia's extradition request has arrived, which the Serbian Ministry of Justice said would be sent "in the shortest possible time."

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