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Former Prime Minister Çeku arrested in Bulgaria

Article published on the 2009-06-24 Latest update 2009-06-24 15:44 TU

Former Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Çeku while in office in 2006(Photo: US Department of State)

Former Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Çeku while in office in 2006
(Photo: US Department of State)

Bulgarian authorities say that they are holding former Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Çeku until at least Saturday as they decide whether to extradite him to Serbia, where he is under warrant for war crimes charges. Police arrested him in Bulgaria as he crossed the border from Macedonia on Tuesday.

Serbian prosecutors say that Çeku committed war crimes as a leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army during the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s.

He was Prime Minister of Kosovo from 2006 to 2008.

Twice in the past, Çeku has been arrested outside of Serbia and considered for extradition, once in Hungary and once in Slovenia. In both cases, the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo ruled that an extradition would have no legal ground.

Franz Lothar Altmann, professor at the University of Bucharest, told RFI that he was surprised that Bulgaria arrested Çeku.

Interview: Franz Lothar Altmann, University of Bucharest

24/06/2009 by Erik Campano

"It might be that it was local police amicable to Serbia who do not know the international implications," Altmann said.

Serbia said Wednesday that it has formally requested Çeku's extradition from Bulgaria.