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Kosovo specialist prosecutor arrests another Kosovar Albanian war veterans official

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Kosovo police guard the entrance of the offices of a war veterans association in Kosovo, in Pristina, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020.
Kosovo police guard the entrance of the offices of a war veterans association in Kosovo, in Pristina, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020.   -   Copyright  Visar Kryeziu/AP Photo
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Another member of an organisation of former Kosovar Albanian independence fighters has been arrested by the special tribunal investigating war crimes in Kosovo.

Nasim Haradinaj is the latest member of the war veterans association to be arrested, accusing of intimidating witnesses.

The Kosovo Specialist Prosecutor's Office said in a statement Haradinaj was arrested "for offences against the administration of justice, namely intimidation of witnesses, retaliation and violation of secrecy of proceedings."

The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) provided operational and logistic support to the prosecutor who is based in The Netherlands.

Haradinaj was deputy to Hysni Gucati, also a former member of the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK), who was arrested and transferred to The Hague on Friday.

Earlier in the week, the Specialist Chambers arrested former commander Salih Mustafa who is charged with the war crimes of arbitrary detention, cruel treatment, torture of at least six people and the murder of one person at a detention compound in Zllash, Kosovo, in April 1999.

Former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, an ex-commander in the Kosovo Liberation Army, wrote on Facebook that “there is no reason for operations or storming because everyone will respond voluntarily to justice.”

The former PM has been twice prosecuted and acquitted in another international war crimes court in The Hague.

Kosovar President Hashim Thaci, former parliamentary speaker Kadri Veseli and others have been charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, enforced disappearances, persecution and torture. Both men have denied committing any crimes.

The 1998-1999 war for Kosovo’s independence from Serbia left more than 10,000 people dead — most of them ethnic Albanians from Kosovo, and more than 1,600 people remain unaccounted for. The fighting ended after a 78-day NATO air campaign against Serbian troops.

Kosovo, which is dominated by ethnic Albanians, declared independence from Serbia in 2008, a move recognised by many Western nations but not Serbia or its allies Russia and China.