Reuters, October 08, 2002
Macedonia police release ex-rebel after two days
SKOPJE, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Macedonian police released a former ethnic Albanian rebel on Monday after holding him for two days for alleged war crimes during last year's conflict, despite an amnesty law adopted as part of a peace deal.
Sadulla Duraku, a member of the political party of ex-guerrilla chief Ali Ahmeti, was let go after being detained on Saturday, police spokesman Voislav Zafirovski said.
"I don't know the reason for his release," he added.
On Sunday, the spokesman said Duraku would remain in custody for 30 days after a court ordered his detention.
Under a Western-brokered peace deal to end the fighting between guerrillas and government forces in 2001, the rebels agreed to surrender their guns in return for promises of greater rights for minority Albanians and an amnesty.
The former rebels later entered politics and their party, Ahmeti's Democratic Union for Integration (DUI), won the majority of Albanian votes in elections last month.
It is expected to enter a ruling coalition with the moderate Social Democrats, who trounced ruling nationalists among the Macedonian majority.
The DUI protested at the weekend against Duraku's detention. One of its lawyers said war crime cases were under the jurisdiction of the U.N. tribunal in The Hague and not the domestic judiciary.
Macedonia's chief prosecutor has tried on several occasions to pursue war crimes cases, threatening to arrest Ahmeti and his closest aides, but this has been dismissed by diplomats as a "stunt" by the outgoing nationalists.