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Kosovo Court Acquits Ruling Party Deputy Of War Crimes

Former Kosovo Liberation Army commander Fatmir Limaj (left) at the District Court in Pristina (file photo)
PRISTINA -- An EU-administered court in Kosovo has acquitted an ethnic Albanian lawmaker and former separatist guerrilla commander of charges he tortured and killed civilians during the 1998-99 war with Serbia.

A British judge presiding over a mixed panel of European and local judges on May 2 handed down "not guilty" rulings for Fatmir Limaj and three former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK).

Limaj was accused of committing war crimes against Serbs and Albanians in Klecka village in 1999.

The acquittal comes after the court threw out testimony by a former UCK fighter who died of an apparent suicide late last year.

Limaj, who currently serves as deputy president of the ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo, said the decision shows Kosovo's "war of liberation" was "fair and clean."

With reporting by AFP and AP