Politician indicted of war crimes related to Kosovo war

AP News
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Posted: Oct 28, 2016 11:14 AM

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Kosovo prosecutors have accused a senior politician of crimes in connection with two murders dating back to the 1998-99 Kosovo war.

A special prosecutor's office said Friday said that Fatmir Limaj, a former commander in the Kosovo Liberation Army that fought a separatist war against Serbia, failed to prevent the murder of two Albanians in 1998, discover the perpetrators or take the case to the proper institutions to be investigated.

A statement from the prosecutors mentions the names of two executed Albanians without clarifying the reason for their murder.

Limaj denied his guilt, recalling that he has faced similar charges in the past but was never found guilty. He said the charge was based on the fact that the crime was committed in the area he once commanded.

In a statement emailed to The Associated Press he also accused the prosecutors of mistreating him and of lacking interest in finding the true culprits.

"This case is being abused in order to continue the persecution against me," he said.

In 2005 a U.N. tribunal acquitted Limaj on war crimes charges and in 2012 a Pristina court with international judges cleared him of allegations of torturing and killing Serb detainees during the war.

Limaj, 45, is the leader of the opposition Nisma per Kosoven (Initiative for Kosovo) political party.

Limaj also has served as a government minister with the Democratic Party of Kosovo before breaking away to create his political group.

Some 10,000 people died and 1,700 went missing during the 1998-1999 war as Kosovo fought to break away from Serbia.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, which Serbia has never recognized.