French court handling Haradinaj case has "more questions"

The Justice Ministry has received additional questions from an appeals court in France which is deciding on a Serbian extradition request for Ramush Haradinaj.

Source: Tanjug
(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)

The court in the town of Colmar is seeking clarification of legal provisions relating to the crimes Serbia is charging Haradinaj with.

The court has asked to receive a reply by the end of March at the latest, considering that a new hearing has been scheduled for April 6.

The Justice Ministry has sent the French court's request to the Serbian War Crimes Prosecution, which is conducting the investigation against Haradinaj.

One of the questions concerns the date when Article 142, paragraph 1 was added to the Criminal Code of Serbia, which provides for the punishment of war crimes against civilians.

Another question is whether the provisions of this Article were valid between June 12 and 20, 1999, when the offenses that Haradinaj is suspected of were committed.

The Colmar court, among other things, also wants to know the maximum penalty for these offense and whether the provisions of the Serbian law allow prosecution for the crimes Haradinaj is charged with - and about the legal provisions applicable to statutory limitation for criminal offenses under Serbian law.

The Ministry of Justice stressed on Friday that they will respect the deadline and submit the requested additional information by the end of the month.

Haradinaj, an ethnic Albanian politician from Kosovo who was in the past one of the leaders of the KLA ("Kosovo Liberation Army") was arrested in France in early January on a Serbian war crimes warrant.

Haradinaj was released a week later when he had his passport confiscated, and is unable to leave France pending the decision of the country's judicial authorities on Serbia's extradition request.

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