4 minute read

The Accused
Few people can enhance their reputations by being indicted for war crimes. Yet last week, when Kosovo’s 36-year-old Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj was indicted by a U.N. tribunal on 37 counts of crimes against humanity and violating the laws or customs of war — including murder, rape and personal involvement in beating civilians — he emerged as a hero. That’s partly because the former commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army agreed to quit and turn himself in. Many found his resignation impressive. The U.N. administrator for Kosovo, Soren Jessen-Petersen, said that Haradinaj “has once again put the interests of Kosovo above his own.” HERO FOR A LIFETIME beamed the newspaper Express.

NATO flew in 1,000 reinforcements to guard against the possibility of mob violence, but Kosovo Albanians greeted the news that a “war hero” had been indicted with relative calm. International officials are already holding Kosovo up as an example to neighboring Serbia and to Croatia, which have been reluctant to turn over popular suspects. Diplomats say


Kosovo will probably be rewarded with “final status” talks on independence from Serbia as early as this year. The government is expected to choose a new Prime Minister this week. Meanwhile, Haradinaj is hoping that Jessen-Petersen was right when he said: “I trust that Mr Haradinaj will again be able to serve Kosovo.” The alternative, if convicted, is life. — By Andrew Purvis

Storm Over Sunset
BRITAIN Home Secretary Charles Clarke imposed strict controls on 10 released terror suspects under a new antiterror bill approved after a marathon all-night session of Parliament. The House of Lords, Parliament’s unelected upper chamber, finally endorsed the measure, which permits restrictions such as house arrest, after Prime Minister Tony Blair agreed to give Parliament the right to review it within a year. The 10 suspects were released from three years’ detention shortly before the bill’s adoption.

Selective Strike
FRANCE Some 150,000 demonstrators protesting economic reforms, including the overhaul of the 35-hour week, brought Paris to a standstill. But a visit by an International Olympic Committee contingent assessing Paris’ bid for the 2012 Summer Games went ahead unhindered, as protesters avoided the areas the delegation was touring.

Court Battle
PAKISTAN The Federal Shari’a Court in Islamabad, the country’s highest Islamic judicial authority, ruled that it had sole jurisdiction in a high-profile rape case. The ruling overturned a lower court’s acquittal of five of the defendants a week earlier. The victim said a tribal council ordered her ordeal as a punishment.

Poison Probe
THE PHILIPPINES Authorities launched an investigation into the deaths of at least 27 elementary schoolchildren in the southern island of Bohol who were apparently poisoned by cassava sweets bought from street vendors. Health officials said the inquiry would focus on the possibility that the children were poisoned either by cyanide, which is naturally present in cassava, or pesticides.

Presidential Reprieve
BOLIVIA Congress rallied behind besieged President Carlos Mesa, rejecting his offer to resign and agreeing to back his political program, including the creation of a controversial new energy law. Indigenous opposition leader Evo Morales said the months-long protests and street blockades that prompted Mesa to tender his resignation would continue unless the President agreed to raise the tariffs imposed on international energy companies.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at