Former Kosovo PM arrested in France on Serbian warrant

Ramush Haradinaj

French police have arrested the former prime minister of Kosovo based on a Serbian arrest warrant for alleged war crimes.

Haradinaj is one who fought for Kosovo, a predominantly ethnic Albanian province of Serbia, in order to gain independence.

Ramush Haradinaj (photo above), a former guerrilla fighter, was arrested on his arrival at Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg airport, located near the Swiss and German borders, according to sources close to the French investigation. He was reportedly travelling on his diplomatic passport.

The French Judicial authorities, are now examining the Serbian request.

The country's Interior Ministry says it is doing everything it can to secure Haradinaj's release. Haradinaj appeared in court on Thursday in France, where he was ordered to be detained while the court decides whether he should be turned over to Serbian officials.

"Our prosecutor's office has numerous pieces of evidence against Mr. Haradinaj", Serbia's Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said on Thursday, as quoted by AP. "He is accused of so many (crimes) that they are impossible to list". Vucic also noted that West European countries would have to stop "patronizing" his country on judicial reforms for EU accession if Paris fails to extradite Haradinaj.

He now leads the opposition Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) party but has given up his seat in Parliament.

Haradinaj had already been tried and acquitted of war crimes in 2012 by the United Nations court in The Hague.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation attacked Serbia in 1999 to aid the ethnic Albanian insurgency in Kosovo.

Serbia does not recognize Kosovo as an independent state, which was unilaterally proclaimed in 2008; it continues to consider Kosovo part of Serbia.

In June 2015, Haradinaj was arrested by Slovenian police but was released after two days following diplomatic pressure.

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