UN tribunal releases Kosovo Albanian suspect after mistaken identity claim

The United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) ordered the immediate release today of a Kosovo Albanian indicted for war crimes in the murder and torture of Serb and Albanian civilians following a defence claim of mistaken identity.Judge Liu Daqun ordered the return to Kosovo of Agim Murtezi, 46, who had been transferred to The Hague earlier this month with three other Kosovo Albanians to face charges of crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war.The indictment of Mr. Murtezi, who pleaded not guilty to the charges last week, was withdrawn, following a prosecution motion and the defence’s response, both filed today. Three days ago Mr. Murtezi’s lawyer issued a statement on his behalf “claiming that he is not the person referred to in the indictment.”The original indictment issued last month accused Mr. Murtezi of enforcing inhumane conditions, including inadequate food and medical care while a guard at Lapusnik/Llapushnik prison camp in 1998, of participating in the murder of 11 prisoners and participating in, aiding and abetting torture and beatings.