EU charges 10 Kosovo Albanians with war crimes
Mar 17, 2011, 20:04 GMT
Pristina - The European Union's law enforcing mission in Kosovo (EULEX) confirmed on Thursday that its investigation of war crimes led to charges against 10 people, including a prominent politician.
Eight of the suspects were arrested in Kosovo on Wednesday and one in Switzerland, EULEX said.
The 10th suspect is parliament member Fatmir Limaj, who is entitled to immunity from prosecution but his status is 'being clarified' and a warrant for his arrest was issued, EULEX said.
Of those held in Kosovo, five were slapped with a 30-day detention order, two were under house arrest and one was told to report to police three times a week.
The charges against the group 'relate to murder, torture and violations of body integrity and health of Kosovo Albanian and Serb civilians and prisoners of war' during the war in Kosovo in 1999.
Limaj is presently a Kosovo legislator and deputy chief of Prime Minister Hashim Thaci's Democratic Party. He was the transport and telecommunications minister in Thaci's previous government.
He did not join the new cabinet, which took office in February following early elections in December, because he has been under an EULEX corruption investigation for at least a year.
As Thaci and many other top Kosovo politicians, Limaj was a member, actually a unit commander of the ethnic Albanian rebel army which fought Serbian security forces in 1998-99.
He was charged with war crimes by the United Nations' International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, but was cleared in 2005 and on appeal two years later.
Unlike the corruption probe, the war crimes investigation was conducted in secrecy.
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