Kosovo war crimes trial splits West and prosecutors

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PRISTINA, Kosovo —- Ramush Haradinaj, a stocky ethnic Albanian former guerrilla commander and, briefly, Kosovo’s prime minister, is either one of the most impressive leaders to emerge in the Balkans in recent years or a vicious war criminal. Or perhaps both.

Mr. Haradinaj and two other men began to stand trial at the United Nations tribunal in The Hague in March, charged with killing 40 people in 1998, during the conflict between the Kosovo Liberation Army guerrilla group and Serbian-dominated security forces.

But the prosecution’s leading witness, Tahir Zemaj, and his son and nephew were shot dead during the investigation. Another witness, Kjutim Berisha, died two weeks before the trial when he was hit by a car in Podgorica, the Montenegrin capital.

More than a third of those giving evidence for the prosecution are allowed to conceal their identities, more than in any other case at the tribunal, according to the prosecution.

The case has created a stark divide between prosecutors at the tribunal and in Kosovo and diplomats from the United Nations and Western governments...

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