French court refuses extradition of ex-Kosovo PM Haradinaj

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published 27.04.2017 11:00
Updated 27.04.2017 11:14
Kosovo's former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj (C) arrives at the Court in Colmar, eastern France, on April 27, 2017, to hear the result of his extradition hearing. (AFP Photo)
Kosovo's former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj (C) arrives at the Court in Colmar, eastern France, on April 27, 2017, to hear the result of his extradition hearing. (AFP Photo)

A French court has refused to extradite a former Kosovo prime minister to Serbia to face war crimes charges.

The court in the northeastern town of Colmar says Ramush Haradinaj was released after Thursday's decision. It did not give a reason for the refusal, and it is unclear whether Serbian representatives will appeal the decision.

Authorities had earlier detained Haradinaj as he flew into France on Jan. 4 following a request from Serbia, which says he is a war criminal for his role in leading a guerrilla insurgency in its former southern province of Kosovo.

The arrest raised tensions between Kosovo and Serbia, and Kosovo lawmakers called on the European Union to intervene to secure his release.

Haradinaj, a guerrilla fighter in Kosovo's 1998-1999 war for independence from Serbia, was previously cleared of war crimes charges by a U.N. tribunal.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, which Belgrade has not recognized.

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