A key witness on Friday pleaded guilty to contempt of court for refusing to testify in the trial of former Kosovo prime minister Ramush Haradinaj at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague.
Shefqet Kabashi, a former member of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), refused to testify in 2007 at the first trial of Haradinaj, KLA commander during its conflict with Serb forces in 1998-99.
He entered his plea at a session of the ICTY after being handed over to the court earlier this month by Dutch authorities.
The ICTY acquitted Haradinaj in 2008 of charges of crimes against humanity including murder, rape, torture, abduction, cruel treatment, imprisonment and the forced deportation of ethnic Serb and Roma civilians.
But appeals judges partially quashed the acquittal last year, calling for a re-trial because the trial chamber had not done more to ensure the testimony of certain witnesses given "serious witness intimidation."
The appeals court said this deprived the prosecution of vital support for its case. The original trial had heard how many witnesses felt unsafe.
Earlier this month, the tribunal said Kabashi’s testimony was relevant as it related to the alleged responsibility of Haradinaj and two co-accused, Idriz Balaj and Lahi Brahimaj, on six counts of torture and murder of prisoners at the KLA headquarters and the prison in Jablanica.