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House arrest for Kosovo lawmaker awaiting warcrimes trial

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(PRISTINA) - An ethnic Albanian commander in Kosovo's former rebel army was placed under a one-month house arrest Thursday pending his war crimes trial in a European Union-backed court.

Fatmir Limaj, a top commander in the former Kosovo Liberation Army, was earlier this month charged with nine others for war crimes allegedly committed against civilians and prisoners of war in June of 1999.

He is now a lawmaker in Prime Minister Hashim Thaci's ruling Democratic Party, and served as transportation minister in Thaci's previous government.

"The court ordered a provision of house arrest for 30 days against deputy Fatmir Limaj," his lawyer Tahir Rrecaj told reporters.

"The provision was proposed by the public prosecutor and the court agreed," the lawyer added.

The EU mission in Kosovo (EULEX) said in a statement that a pre-trial judge at the District Court of Pristina had also ordered the temporary confiscation of Limaj's travel documents.

Limaj was tried for war crimes at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, and was acquitted in 2007.

The 1998-99 war between KLA guerrillas and Serbian army left around 13,000 people dead and 1,900 people, including 532 Serbs are still listed as missing.

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