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Former Kosovo Rebel Commander Cleared Of War Crimes


Fatmir Limaj greets supporters in Pristina after he was acquitted on September 17.

Fatmir Limaj greets supporters in Pristina after he was acquitted on September 17.

A former ethnic Albanian rebel commander turned politician has been acquitted of war crimes during the 1998-99 Kosovo conflict.

Fatmir Limaj, a former senior commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK), is a close ally of Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, himself also a former UCK commander.

Limaj stood accused of killing and torturing Serbian prisoners at a UCK-run detention camp.

The charges were based mainly on diaries and testimony of a former prison guard who became the main witness in the case before he was found dead in Germany.

An EU-led court in Pristina on September 17 ruled that although Serbian civilians had been killed at the camp, the prosecution had failed to establish a link with Limaj and his nine co-accused.

It was the third time Limaj has been acquitted of war crimes charges.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP
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