Kosovo’s Prime Minister made his name in the late 1990s during the conflict there. A commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army, he was accused of presiding over the torture and murder of Serbs, but given a lack of evidence, he was cleared of war crimes by the UN in both 2008 and 2012. That wasn’t good enough for Serbia, which refuses to recognize Kosovo as an independent nation, and wants Haradinaj to be extradited to face justice in its courts.
It’s not only in Serbia that Haradinaj faces legal challenges. At the behest of Western allies and helped by EU funding, Kosovo’s parliament in 2015 agreed to set up a special war crimes court based in the Netherlands but operating under Kosovo’s jurisdiction, a move widely considered instrumental in helping stabilize Balkan geopolitics. Only now that indictments are set to come down, Haradinaj and other members of Kosovo’s political elite are looking for ways to derail the inquiries.
The U.S. and EU—who led the NATO bombing campaign against Serbia’s Slobodan Milosevic in the war—are both livid at Kosovo’s perceived flaunting of Western norms and values. Maybe Haradinaj and his allies figure Kosovo is too small for important geopolitical powers to care; the reality is that, to preserve the peace, they can’t afford not to.” (Time)