Thaci pleads not guilty to war crimes

Kosovo's former president Hashim Thaci pleaded not guilty on Nov. 9 to 10 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the alleged torture and killing of opponents.

 Thaci pleads not guilty to war crimes

Prosecutors have said Thaci was responsible for nearly 100 murders when he led the guerrilla uprising against Serbian forces in 1998-99 as commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army.

"Your honour, the indictment is completely without basis and I plead not guilty," he told the Netherlands-based Kosovo Specialist Chambers.

Thaci, seen as a war hero by many in his country, resigned as president after the charges were announced in June. He was arrested and transferred to the tribunal's detention centre on Nov. 5.

He and three other former KLA leaders are accused of overseeing illegal detention facilities where the movement's opponents were kept in inhumane conditions, tortured and sometimes killed.

Defence lawyer David Hooper told the judge he would ask for the former president to be released pending trial, saying Thaci had cooperated with the tribunal up to now, and been instrumental in its formation.