Former Kosovan premier faces UN retrial

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The Independent Online

The former Kosovan prime minister Ramush Haradinaj must face a retrial on murder and torture charges related to the country's 1998-99 war with Serbia.

The Yugoslav war crimes tribunal, sitting in The Hague, called the acquittal of Mr Haradinaj two years ago "a miscarriage of justice" as it ordered the first retrial in its 17-year history.

Mr Haradinaj's original trial with two ex-Kosovo Liberation Army comrades was marred by intimidation that left two prosecution witnesses too scared to testify, said the tribunal president, Patrick Robinson. "The trial chamber failed to appreciate the gravity of the threat that witness intimidation posed to the trial's integrity," he added.

Mr Haradinaj, Idriz Balaj and Lahi Brahimaj were accused of abusing Serbs in 1998 as Kosovo battled for independence. The first two were cleared but Mr Brahimaj was convicted of torture and jailed for six years.