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Friday, March 10, 2006

ICTY approves return to politics of ex-Kosovo PM on tighter conditions
Bernard Hibbitts at 7:29 PM ET

[JURIST] An appeals panel of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia [official website] ruled Friday that former Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] can return to politics in Kosovo during his provisional release pending trial for war crimes scheduled to begin in 2007 [JURIST report], but only on condition that any requests by him to appear in public and engage in public political activities be cleared by the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) [official website] with the advice of the prosecution, and that UNMIK must justify to the court and to the prosecution any permission granted.

Haradinaj returned to Kosovo last June when the Trial Chamber of the court first granted him provisional release [JURIST report]. After ICTY prosecutors who had objected to his resumption of political activity in the country appealed, the Trial Chamber ruled in October than his political activity was subject to UNMIK approval [JURIST report]. The Appeals Chamber subsequently stayed this ruling [JURIST report] in December pending its own decision. Friday's ruling added five conditions to the Trial Chamber's October 2005 terms, requiring UNMIK to pay greater heed to prosecution input on requests and imposing stricter reporting requirements on UNMIK in granting permission. Read the ICTY press release, and the full text of the decision [PDF] by the Appeals Chamber.

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