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Fatmir Limaj and Isak Musliu Acquitted - Haradin Bala Convicted

Press Release
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)

The Hague, 30 November 2005

Limaj and Musliu found not guilty on all charges
Both to be released Bala convicted and sentenced to 13 years' imprisonment

The Tribunal today found Fatmir Limaj and Isak Musliu not guilty of all the charges contained in the indictment against them regarding their alleged involvement in crimes committed in the Llapushnik/Lapusnik area of Kosovo and at the Llapushnik/Lapusnik prison camp in 1998. The judges ordered that they be released as soon as the practical arrangements can be made.

In the same ruling, Judges Parker (presiding), Thelin and Van Den Wyngaert found Haradin Bala guilty of torture, cruel treatment and murder. This relates to the mistreatment of three prisoners at the Llapushnik/Lapusnik prison camp; his personal role in the "maintenance and enforcement of the inhumane conditions" of the camp; aiding the torture of one prisoner; and participation in the murder of nine prisoners from the camp who were marched to the Berishe/Berisa Mountains on 25 or 26 July 1998 and murdered. Seven counts against him were dismissed.

The indictment had alleged that Fatmir Limaj was a commander in the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) with responsibility for the Llapushnik/Lapusnik area and the prison camp of the same name; that Isak Musliu was a KLA commander and at times acted as a guard at the prison camp; and that Haradin Bala was also a KLA commander and guard at the prison camp.

This is the first judgement handed down by the Tribunal relating to crimes alleged to have been committed in Kosovo. The Tribunal has issued a number of indictments against several other persons regarding the alleged crimes in Kosovo. Among those charged for their role in the deportation of approximately 800,000 Kosovo Albanians and the murder of hundreds of others in 1999, are the following senior members of the political and military leadership of Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) at the times the crimes were allegedly committed:

Slobodan Milosevic, then President of the FRY Milan Milutinovic, then President of SerbiaNikola Sainovic, then Deputy Prime Minister of the FRYDragoljub Ojdanic, then Chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army Nebojsa Pavkovic, then Commander of the Third Army of the FRYVladimir Lazarevic, then Commander of the Pristina Corps of the FRY Third Army Vladimir Djordjevic, then Assistant Minister of the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MUP) and Chief of the Public Security Department of MUP Sreten Lukic, then Head of the MUP staff for Kosovo

The following individuals are charged by the Tribunal for crimes allegedly committed against the Serb civilian population and members of the Albanian and Roma/Egyptian civilian population in the Dukagjin Operational Zone in western Kosovo in 1998:

Ramush Haradinaj, then KLA Commander of the Dukagjin Operational Zone Idriz Balaj, then KLA member who reported directly to Haradinaj and acted as the commander of the "The Black Eagles"Lahi Brahimaj, then Deputy Commander of the Dukagjin Operative Staff

Since its inception in 1993, the Tribunal has charged 161 individuals for war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia. To date, proceedings against 85 persons have concluded. Seven indicted persons remian at large.

Since its inception in 1993, the Tribunal has charged 161 individuals for war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia. To date, proceedings against 85 persons have concluded. Seven indicted persons remian at large.


The full summary of the judgement as read out by Judge Parker at today's hearing can be found on our website at

The Trial Chamber judgement in this case can be found at

Courtroom proceedings can be followed on the Tribunal's website.

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

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