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French Court Refuses to Extradite Former Kosovo Prime Minister

FILE - Ramush Haradinaj, a former Kosovo prime minister, appears in court in Colmar, eastern France, March 2, 2017. A French court refuses Thursday to extradite Haradinaj to Serbia to face war crimes charges.

A French court has refused Serbia's request to extradite former Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj to face war crimes charges.

The court in Colmar released Haradinaj after its ruling Thursday.

French police originally detained Haradinaj in early January on a Serbian arrest warrant, a move that raised tensions between Serbia and Kosovo.

Serbian authorities want to try him for alleged offenses related to the 1998-99 war in Kosovo.

An international war crimes tribunal in The Hague put Haradinaj on trial twice on charges that included murder, cruel treatment and torture from his time as a commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army, which fought a guerrilla war for independence from Serbia. He was acquitted on all charges.

Kosovo declared independence with Western backing in 2008, but Serbia does not recognize it.