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25 Jun, 2009 23:20

Former Kosovo leader Ceku released from custody

Former Kosovar prime minister Agim Ceku was released from detention in Bulgaria a day after being arrested on an international warrant for allegedly committing war crimes.

The charges stem from the military conflict in Kosovo from 1998 to 1999, when he was a commander in the Kosovo Liberation Army, which consisted of ethnic Albanians and was regarded as a guerilla group.

A Bulgarian court released Ceku from custody despite Serbia's requests for extradition.

Upon his release, Ceku told reporters that Serbia's arrest warrant lacked grounds and added Serbia has no jurisdiction over Kosovo and its institutions, the Associated Press reported.

“The international institutions have probed the situation, must have examined Serbia's claims against me, and no charges have ever been pressed against me," he said.

This is not the first time the former prime minister has been detained and released. In 2003 he was detained in Slovenia and in 2004 in Hungary, but both countries declined to hand him over to Serbia.

As prime minister Ceku was active in pushing for Kosovo's independence.