By Talha Ozturk
BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) - Kosovo’s Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj on Friday stepped down after being summoned as a war crimes suspect by a special tribunal in the Hague.
In a news conference on Friday, Haradinaj said he was called a “suspect" by the Kosovo Special Prosecutor's Office in The Hague, so he resigned as prime minister.
"I resigned as prime minister of the government [...] as I have been called by the Special Prosecutor's Office to testify as a suspect. It was not an easy decision not only for me, but for the whole government," he said.
Haradinaj is a former commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK). Previously, he was tried twice at the international tribunal in The Hague, but was acquitted for lack of evidence.
He was detained in France in January 2017 for being accused of committing war crimes in June 1999 when he was commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
Serbia has demanded his extradition, but French courts have rejected the demand. Haradinaj was later released on bail pending court proceedings.
His political coalition won the last parliamentary election in June 2017.
Since then, Haradinaj has served as prime minister of Kosovo.
The 48-year-old was one of the key figures in the former Kosovo Liberation Army during the 1998-1999 war with Serb forces.