Thousands Welcome Freed Ex-PM Haradinaj in Kosovo

Kosovo's former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj | Sebastien Bozon  AFP via Getty Images
Kosovo's former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj | Sebastien Bozon AFP via Getty Images
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30 April, 2017

Haradinaj gave a speech stressing that "Albanians are peaceful people but they can not be subdued".

Haradinaj told Albanian journalists in Colmar that he would head to Kosovo later Thursday, and his supporters were expected to gather Thursday night in Pristina to welcome him home.

Kosovan Prime Minister What Hashim Thaci, said: "This is good news for Kosovo".

Serbia called an immediate cabinet meeting to discuss the court's decision, which can not be appealed.

Haradinaj is wanted in Serbia on suspicion of committing war crimes, including kidnappings and torture, when he was a guerrilla commander during Kosovo's 1998-99 independence war.

Detained on a Serbian arrest warrant as he flew into France in January, he was released on condition that he did not leave the country. She said it is unclear whether he will stay in France.

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In June 2015, he was arrested in Slovenia on a Serbian warrant but was released two days later under diplomatic pressure.

Kosovo ally Albania also reacted to the news.

The arrest further strained ties between Serbia and Kosovo, which declared independence with Western backing in 2008 and has demanded Belgrade drop its efforts to prosecute people linked to the conflict. He is due to arrive in Pristina later in the day, Reuters reports.

Haradinaj said he was disappointed that state institutions had not supported him as he would have liked. From the steps of the court, Haradinaj said: "I have wasted four months during this judicial process". (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu) FILE - In this March 2, 2017 file photo, Ramush Haradinaj, a former Kosovo prime minister, appears in court in Colmar, eastern France.

The Kosovo conflict ended after North Atlantic Treaty Organisation bombed the now-defunct Yugoslavia, which then comprised of Serbia and Montenegro, for 78 days to force a pullout of its troops and end a counter-insurgency campaign against ethnic Albanians.


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