“The indictment is completely baseless and I plead not guilty to all charges,” said Hashim Thaçi.

The 52-year-old former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) political leader has been charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the Kosovo War of Independence (1998-1999).

Following the indictment, Thaçi resigned as president. “As I promised, I will not allow myself to appear before the Court as President of the Republic of Kosovo under any circumstances,” he told a news conference.

Thaçi has always pleaded not guilty to the charges in The Hague. On the contrary, he accuses international justice of “rewriting history.”

Most Kosovo residents see their conflict with Serbs as a “just war” against oppression.

The war in Kosovo, fought between Kosovo Albanian separatist guerrillas and Serbian forces, was the latest armed conflict to break out in the ruins of the former Yugoslavia. It killed more than 13,000 people, mostly Albanians, and ended with a Western bombing campaign that led to the withdrawal of Serbian forces.