Fatmir Limaj

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Fatmir Limaj
Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo
In office
9 September 2017 – 26 December 2019
Prime MinisterRamush Haradinaj
Leader of NISMA
Assumed office
28 February 2014
Preceded byNew Office
Minister of Transport and Telecommunication in the Government of Kosovo
In office
9 January 2008 – 18 October 2010
Personal details
Born (1971-02-04) 4 February 1971 (age 53)
Banje, Mališevo, Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija, SFR Yugoslavia
(now Kosovo)
Political partyDemocratic Party (1999–2014)
NISMA (2014–present)
Military service
Battles/warsBattle of Llapushnik

Fatmir Limaj (born 4 February 1971), is a Kosovo-Albanian politician. He is the leader of Nisma Socialdemokrate. Limaj served as Minister of Transport and Telecommunication in the government of the Republic of Kosovo. He was known as "Çeliku" during the Yugoslav wars.


Limaj was born in the village of Banjë, in the municipality of Suva Reka, Kosovo, (then Yugoslavia).[1] During the 1999 Kosovo War, Limaj was a commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), in the Llapushnik area. He took part in the Battle of Llapusnik as a commander. His alias was Çeliku.[1]

After the war he was one of the founders of what is now Kosovo's largest political party, the Democratic Party of Kosovo.[2] After his indictment, which he was freed from in 2007 (see below), he returned to politics. From 2007 to 2010, he served as the Minister of Transport.[3]

In the elections held in December 2010 he was third most voted leader in the whole country but he decided not to be part of the government.[citation needed] In 2014, he co-founded the Initiative for Kosovo Party (NISMA).[2]

Fatmir was Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo in the cabinet of Ramush Haradinaj from September 2017 to February 2020.

War crimes charges[edit]

Limaj was arrested on 18 February 2003, in Slovenia. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) charged him, Isak Musliu and Haradin Bala with war crimes against Serbs and Albanians regarding illegal imprisonment, cruel treatment, inhuman acts, and murders in Lapušnik prison camp.[4][5][6]

On 4 March 2003, he was sent to The Hague, and on 15 November 2004, the trial began. In November 2005, Limaj was acquitted by the ICTY.[1]

In September 2007, The Appeals Chamber found that "the Trial Chamber reasonably found that Fatmir Limaj does not incur criminal responsibility for any of the offences charged in the indictment," Judge Fausto Pocar said.[7]

Limaj was charged in another war crime case by European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX). He was held for seven months in house arrest and on 21 March the Court declared all statements of witness X as inadmissible whilst the whole indictment was based on those statements. Hours after that Limaj was released with the court order.[citation needed]

In 2018, Limaj was found not guilty of war crimes by an international court for failing to prevent the killing of two Albanians during the Kosovo War.[8]


  1. ^ a b c "Limaj et al. Case Information Sheet" (PDF). ICTY.org. United Nations.
  2. ^ a b Burnett, M. Troy, ed. (2020). Nationalism Today: Extreme Political Movements around the World [2 volumes]. ABC-CLIO. p. 639. ISBN 9781440850004.
  3. ^ "Fatmir Limaj's brother promoted at University of Prizren". Prishtina Insight. 10 July 2019.
  4. ^ Genocide, War Crimes, and Crimes Against Humanity. Human Rights Watch. p. 1.
  5. ^ "UN court acquits top Kosovo rebel". BBC News. 30 November 2005. Retrieved 14 May 2010.
  6. ^ International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Press Release: "Haradin Bala, Isak Musliu, and Agim Murtezi Transferred to the ICTY following their Indictment for Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes", The Hague, 18 February 2003; retrieved 7 April 2009.
  7. ^ "The Tribunal's Appeals Chamber today upheld the Trial Chamber judgement in the case against former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) members Fatmir Limaj, Isak Musliu and Haradin Bala". ICTY.org. 27 September 2007.
  8. ^ "Kosovo deputy PM acquitted of war crime charges". FOX News. 9 March 2018.