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Kosovar President Welcomes Acquittals

Ibrahim Rugova (file photo) (epa) 1 December 2005 -- Kosovo's president, Ibrahim Rugova, has welcomed the acquittal of two former ethnic Albanian fighters at the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

Rugova said the verdicts prove the "righteousness of the fight for freedom and independence" of Kosovo from Serbia.

Yesterday in The Hague, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia convicted a former member of the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) but acquitted two others.

The decision follows the first-ever trial of Kosovar Albanians before the court in The Hague.

Haradin Bala, 48, was sentenced to 13 years in prison for torture, cruel treatment, and murder committed in the UCK-run Lapushnik prison camp.

His co-accused, former Kosovo Democratic Party leader Fatmir Limaj and Isak Musliu, were found not guilty on all charges.

(with news agencies)

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