A Kosovo court has cleared a senior Kosovo politician and three of his associates of allegations that they tortured and killed Serb detainees during the 1998-99 Kosovo war.

A panel of three judges -- two from the European Union and one from Kosovo -- dropped the case against Fatmir Limaj, a former commander in the Kosovo Liberation Army that fought a separatist war against Serbia. Limaj said the verdict proved that the KLA fought "a just and clean fight."

The case -- run by an Italian prosecutor in the 3,000-strong EU rule of law mission in Kosovo -- was largely based on the testimony of a key witness who later committed suicide. A U.N. tribunal also acquitted Limaj of war crime charges in 2005.

Serbia rejects Kosovo's 2008 secession.