Former Kosovo prime minister arrested in Bulgaria | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 24.06.2009
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Former Kosovo prime minister arrested in Bulgaria

Bulgarian authorities have detained former Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Ceku who is wanted in Serbia on war crime charges. Bulgarian police arrested him as he crossed Bulgaria’s border with Macedonia.

Kosovo's prime minister Agim Ceku in front of UN sign

Ceku is wanted for war crimes allegedly committed during the 1998-1999 war in the then Serbian-ruled Kosovo

This is the third time that former Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Ceku has been arrested under an international warrant, even though UN officials in Pristina have repeatedly requested that governments disregard the Serbian order.

Ceku was detained on an old Interpol warrant issued by Serbia, which wants to put him on trial for war crimes allegedly committed when he was the military chief of the ethnic Albanian 'Kosovo Liberation Army,' which fought against Serb forces in the late 1990s.

Prosecutors said Ceku will remain in custody in Bulgaria for 72 hours while Sofia decides whether to extradite or release him. Kosovo's authorities have contacted Bulgarian officials to try to negotiate Ceku's release and have asked Interpol and other countries to ignore Serbia's request.

The Tanjug news agency reported that Serbia's justice ministry has filed a request for Ceku's extradition.

Kosovo's Albanian majority declared independence in 2008 which is recognised by 60 countries including Bulgaria. Serbia has said it will never recognize an independent Kosovo.

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Editor: Sonia Phalnikar

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