The Vice-President of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) Veterans Organisation Naim Haradinaj said on Tuesday, during his first appearance before the Specialised Court for KLA 1998-1999 war and post-war crimes, he did not recognise the court and his attorney demanded his release.
“Your mandate expired in August. The politicians are to blame for your existence,” Hardinaj, former Kosovo’s Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj’s cousin told the court.
Haradinaj was arrested and transferred to The Hague on Friday, based on the Specialised Chambers.
His defence attorney filed a request for charges to be dropped and his client released from custody. The Prosecution should rule on the defence’s demand by Friday.
“This court is for war crimes, and he (Haradinaj) is not suspected of war crimes, and this court has no jurisdiction over the accusations my client is indicted for,” the lawyer said.
Nicolas Guillou, the presiding judge, demanded the list of crimes Haradinaj was suspected of to be read to him. They include intimidation of witnesses, retaliation and violation of the secrecy of the proceedings, according to the Criminal Code of Kosovo.
“There is a reasonable doubt that Haradinaj held three media conferences on September 7,16 and 22, during which he published confidential information about the work of the Specialised Prosecutor, including the names and data of the potential witnesses putting them into danger,” the warrant for Haradinaj’s arrest said.
The Prosecutors said they were gathering evidence based on which it would issue an indictment against Haradinaj.
So far, they confiscated cameras, computers and other technical means, adding they expected to charge him soon, Radio Free Europe (RFE) reported.