fb-pixel

PRISTINA, Kosovo — Kosovo’s prime minister resigned Friday after being invited for questioning by a Hague-based court investigating crimes against ethnic Serbs during and after the country’s 1998-99 war.

Ramush Haradinaj said he agreed to be interviewed at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers next week and didn’t want to appear there as prime minister. However, he said he and his Cabinet would continue running the country until a new prime minister is chosen.

‘‘I considered that I cannot go to the questioning as head of the government,’’ Haradinaj said at a news conference.

Haradinaj urged Kosovar President Hashim Thaci to call an early parliamentary election and said he would be a candidate in hopes of regaining office. He said the special court summoned him as a suspect but also told reporters he wanted to run for reelection ‘‘because I am not accused.’’

Advertisement



Thaci wrote on his Facebook page that he would take the necessary steps to install a new government.

Haradinaj, who became prime minister in September 2017, said that while he thought the summons was politically bad for Kosovo, ‘‘I will respect the legal request. I will go there. I will defend myself as a fighter of my country.’’

The Kosovo Specialist Chambers and a separate Specialist Prosecutor’s Office were established in 2015 based on war crimes allegations against the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army catalogued by the Council of Europe, a human rights body.

A 2011 council report described allegations that included the trafficking of human organs from prisoners and killings of Serbs and KLA members’ fellow ethnic Albanians.

The court, which is part of the Kosovo judicial system despite being based in the Netherlands, started questioning former Kosovo fighters this year. Haradinaj was one of the top KLA commanders during the war.