Haradinaj to German media: I have never threatened witnesses

The outgoing prime minister, Ramush Haradinaj, in an interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) said that he has never threatened witnesses.

Asked about his interview with the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) at The Hague last month, Haradinaj said the SPO investigators asked him on the establishment of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) member and his role in the KLA.

“I was not confronted with specific accusations. My lawyer, who was present, advised me not to give any specific answer either,” Haradinaj told FAZ.

He said that the questioning at the SPO premises lasted about one hour and when asked whether he expects an indictment will be filed against him, Haradinaj answered: “I was summoned and I have done my job by appearing there [at The Hague],” adding that it is up to the Kosovo Specialist Chambers to decide on the indictment.

Asked by FAZ whether the SPO is bringing the same accusations that he was cleared off twice earlier by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Haradinaj replied: “All I can say now is: I was asked on establishment of the KLA and my role in it, in both trials which have lasted for eight years and my acquittal, are clearly documented. Haradinaj said that he was surprised when receiving a summons by the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office considering that he was accused twice by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and finally acquitted of all charges.

He also cast doubt that the summons he received from the Hague prosecutors has left room for theories and speculations that it is linked to his political stance.

“It is no secret that change of borders in our region, a project which was supported by a part of the international community, I have rejected because is highly dangerous,” Haradinaj said adding that 100 percent tax introduced by his Government against Serbian goods will remain into force until Serbia recognizes Kosovo’s independence.

When reminded by FAZ that his stance on tax has caused him to lose support from Washington, Haradinaj said that he was aware of potential consequences, adding that he was honest with international partners in Washington and Europe telling them that redrawing borders threatens stability in Kosovo and the region.

“It is also difficult for us to open the market for a neighboring country, which puts into question our existence and threatens us. Therefore, in Kosovo everyone thinks that the tax should remain until Serbia recognizes Kosovo,” Haradinaj said.