Haradinaj to be extradited to The Hague, not Belgrade?

Speculations have been rife that Ramush Haradinaj could be extradited from France directly to the Special Court for KLA Crimes in The Hague – Deutsche Welle (DW) reports.

The head of the Serbian War Crimes Prosecution Office, Milan Petrovic confirmed for DW that there was a possibility for the former KLA commander to be extradited to the Special Court. The relevant documents have been forwarded, and all that Serbian and Kosovar institutions can do now is to wait for the decision about his extradition.

The French court will have a final say in what will happen to the future KLA commander. Belgrade claims that, according to the statements given by 30 witnesses, Haradinaj is responsible for killing 13 people, including children. Another important thing to mention is that the Serbian authorities have been insisting on Haradinaj being charged with the crimes that were committed before 1999, which the Hague Tribunal had not even considered.

„We expect Haradinaj to be extradited to Serbia”

Serbia expects French courts to extradite Ramush Haradinaj to them – says Milan Petrovic. “We expect this because we are talking about purely a legal issue that has nothing to do with politics, and this can been seen from the events that we had stated in our extradition request”, Petrovic adds.

He was not able to divulge the details of the extradition request because “the witnesses stated in the request are considered especially vulnerable, and revealing anything about the contents of the request could jeopardize the confidentiality of the investigation and the safety of both the victims and witnesses”. Petrovic adds that despite the fact that investigators had been prevented to examine the location of the committed crimes because Serbian judicial authorities had limited access to them, solid evidence has been collected.

Haradinaj will end up in The Hague? 

“If I had to place my bets on what decision the French court would make, I would say that Haradinaj was more likely to be extradited to The Hague than Serbia”, says Milivoje Mihajlovic, Director of Radio Belgrade and an experienced reporter from Kosovo. “The case could also end in Haradinaj being freed, or him being extradited to The Hague which, in a way would, mean re-opening of this special court which would now try KLA members for their crimes. Although, I don’t think that France is that keen to extradite Haradinaj to Serbia”, Mihajlovic concludes.

(B92, Deutsche Welle, 23.01.2017)



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