Haradinaj’s TV appearance frowned upon

Published on November 3, 2006, Beta News Agency

Category: Meet the Muslim Albanian Leaders

THE HAGUE -- The Hague Tribunal stated that Ramush Haradinaj’s TV appearance sends a bad message to witnesses and the public.

Haradinaj stands accused of war crimes by the Hague Tribunal and is currently outside of custody until his trial begins.

Hague spokesperson Anton Nikiforov said that Haradinaj’s behavior during a television show last week sends a bad message.

With the approval of UNMIK and the Tribunal, Haradinaj gave an interview to Priština television station TV21.

The Tribunal prosecution was against the TV appearance, but the court council confirmed the UNMIK decision, after a one-week suspension.

Nikiforov said that the prosecution argued that this was a thing of principles, and that alleged war criminals should not be allowed to make public appearances.

“A television appearance of an indictee has the effect of instilling fear in witnesses, and leaves a feeling of subjectivity in the public. We are worried most about the witnesses. When a witness sees that UNMIK has such a good opinion of an indictee, and that he is giving a television interview, that is not a good message.” Nikiforov said.

In its statement on why it approved Haradinaj’s televised appearance, UNMIK said that he helps public peace and reconciliation and the goals of the international community in Kosovo with his public appearances.

Haradinaj is accused of the persecution of Serbs and other non-Albanian minorities in Kosovo while he was the leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army in 1998.

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