French court refuses to extradite Kosovo ex-prime minister

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A French court has refused to extradite a former Kosovo prime minister to Serbia to face war crimes charges.

The court in the northeastern town of Colmar says Ramush Haradinaj was released after Thursday's decision. It did not give a reason for the refusal, and it is unclear whether Serbian representatives will appeal the decision.

Serbia's government requested his extradition after French police arrested Haradinaj in January on a Serbian arrest warrant. The arrest raised tensions between Kosovo and Serbia, and Kosovo lawmakers called on the European Union to intervene to secure his release.

Haradinaj, a guerrilla fighter in Kosovo's 1998-1999 war for independence from Serbia, was previously cleared of war crimes charges by a U.N. tribunal.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, which Belgrade has not recognized.