Serbia charges Kosovo leaders with treason

BELGRADE Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:07am EST

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BELGRADE (Reuters) - Serbia charged Kosovo's Albanian leadership with treason on Monday for proclaiming the province independent.

An Interior Ministry statement said Kosovo's Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, President Fatmir Sejdiu and speaker of parliament Jakup Krasniqi had been charged with organizing Sunday's proclamation of a "false state" on Serbian territory.

Thaci, a former guerrilla, is a convicted terrorist in Serbia. But he met Belgrade's prime minister and president several times in the past year for talks on Kosovo, which failed to find compromise, though not in Serbia proper.

Under the rule of late autocrat Slobodan Milosevic, Serbia charged U.S. President Bill Clinton, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and other Western political and military figures with acts of aggression in 1999 when NATO bombed to drive out Serb forces from Kosovo.

(Edited by Richard Meares)

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