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But Belgrade issued an global arrest warrant over separate charges of violence against Serbian civilians in Kosovo in June 1999.

Upon his release following the ruling on April 27, Haradinaj said the procedure is now closed and Serbia's extradition request has been turned down.

Haradinaj was arrested at Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg Airport in eastern France on January 4 and later freed on bail pending court proceedings.

A French appeals court on Thursday said it had refused the extradition to Serbia of former Kosovo prime minister Ramush Haradinaj, who was a guerrilla commander during the 1998-99 Kosovo war.

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić on Thursday called an urgent government meeting over Haradinaj's release.

Parties to the case have five days to appeal.

"France has now definitely aligned itself with those who discriminate against victims and treat criminals differently depending on their nationality", Drecun said, as reported by Balkan Insight.

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Haradinaj, a lawmaker and opponent of Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, is considered a war hero by many Kosovars.

"Once again it is proven that the slanders of the Serb secret services against the Kosovo Liberation Army [the wartime rebel force] are unfounded and not taken into consideration by the democratic world", Thaci said in a statement.

A Serbian court has charged Haradinaj with killings, torture and abductions of Serbs, ethnic Albanians and minority Roma people during and after the 1998-1999 war.

He has been tried and acquitted twice at the United Nations tribunal at The Hague, although Serbia said it had further evidence involving civilian murders which it was asked to hand to the French court.

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

Haradinaj served as Kosovo's prime minister in 2004-2005 before his resignation after being indicted on 17 counts of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, including forcible deportation of civilians, murder and rape.