More witnesses withdraw from testifying against ex-Kosovo PM in Hague trial
BBC Monitoring Europe (Political) - February 24, 2007, Saturday

Text of report in English by Belgrade-based Radio B92 text website on 24 February

Pristina, The Hague, 24 February: Two more witnesses decided not to testify at the [Ramush] Haradinaj trial citing fear for personal safety, the Hague tribunal has said.

The trial of Ramush Haradinaj, former KLA [Kosovo Liberation Army - UCK in Albanian] commander accused of war crimes against Kosovo Serbs and Roma, is set to start on 5 March. He is set to return to the Scheveningen detention unit on 26 February.

Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte's team on Thursday [22 February] asked the court to prevent UNMIK [UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo] chief Joachim Ruecker from meeting Haradinaj, as well as to block Haradinaj's interview with the Associated Press.

The prosecution claimed that otherwise the Kosovo public might have been led to believe UNMIK was backing Haradinaj, at the same timer displaying no willingness to protect the lives of the witnesses in the case.

However, the Tribunal rejected the prosecution's request and Haradinaj met with UNMIK and Kosovo officials yesterday.

Source: Radio B92 text website, Belgrade, in English 0928 gmt 24 Feb 07

Copyright 2007 British Broadcasting Corporation
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