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Kosovo war crimes suspect arrested in Sweden

Swedish authorities have arrested a suspect of Serbian origin over allegations of war crimes or murder committed in Kosovo in 1999.

Swedish diplomat accused of spying for Russia

"Yesterday (Tuesday) morning a person in the western part of Sweden was arrested, accused of war crimes or murder," Swedish police spokesman Varg Gyllander told AFP without providing further details.

The man, in his 30s, was suspected of crimes "related to events which occurred in Kosovo in May 1999 in a village called Cuska," added Tomas Ackheim, the head of the police's war crimes commission.

Ackheim said "the man is of Serbian origin" and was not a Swedish citizen.

A Swedish prosecutor had requested the man's arrest, and he was currently in custody in Stockholm, Ackheim said.

The prosecutor, named by Swedish public radio as Lars Hedvall, would on Friday ask for the suspect to be remanded in custody until trial.

Ackheim said the investigation leading to the man's arrest had been going on for "a rather short time."

Kosovo's 1998-1999 conflict claimed several thousand lives and forced hundreds of thousands to flee Kosovo for several European countries. Most of the victims were ethnic Albanians.

Last month, a Serbian prosecutors's office said it had launched an inquiry into 26 people "suspected of killing 41 people in the village of Cuska, near Pec, on May 14 1999, thereby committing a war crime against the civilian population."

The Kosovo war between Serbian security forces and separatist ethnic Albanians was brought to an abrupt end in mid-1999 when an 11-week NATO bombing campaign ousted the Belgrade-controlled forces.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008. Its independence is now recognised by 62 countries, including 22 of the 27 EU member nations, but rejected by Serbia.

Last Updated (Wednesday, 07 April 2010 12:35)


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