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Kosovo Calls On France To Release Ex-Prime Minister


Kosovo has called on French authorities to release former Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj who was arrested on a Serbian war crimes warrant on January 4.

A French court on January 5 ordered Haradinaj, a former guerrilla commander during Kosovo's 1998-99 war, to remain in custody pending an extradition request from Belgrade.

Kosovo Prime Minister Isa Mustafa said on January 6 that the French government should "take into consideration that such warrants are fully political and have no legal or juridical base."

Justice Minister Dhurata Hoxha told RFE/RL's Balkan Service that she sent a letter to her French counterpart on January 6 demanding Haradinaj's release.

Serbia accuses Haradinaj, who served briefly as prime minister of Kosovo in 2004 and 2005, of committing war crimes during the conflict in the former Serbian province that declared independence in 2008.

His arrest upon arrival at an airport in eastern France on a flight from Pristina has triggered outrage in Kosovo, where the government called the Serbian charges "illegal, unfair, and tendentious."

With reporting by AP
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