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Sunday, May 9, 1999 Published at 04:41 GMT 05:41 UK

World: Europe

Calls for Agani killing probe

Fehmi Agani in deep discussion at the Rambouillet peace talks

Western governments are seeking an international investigation into the death of a key Kosovo Albanian delegate at the failed Rambouillet peace talks, Fehmi Agani.

Kosovo: Special Report
Mr Agani, a close aide of Kosovo Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova, was found dead on Saturday near Kosovo's provincial capital, Pristina.

The German Foreign Ministry expressed its "deepest dismay" at Mr Agani's death and called on Belgrade to investigate the killing and bring those responsible to justice.

The German statement added that the case should also be reviewed by the war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

Conflicting reports

According to the Yugoslav news agency Tanjug, Serbian police said Mr Agani was murdered by the Kosovo Liberation Army.

[ image: Shpend Agami says his father was murdered after trying to leave Kosovo]
Shpend Agami says his father was murdered after trying to leave Kosovo
But Western governments have expressed skepticaism at the official Serbian account.

The UK Foreign Secretary Robin Cook described Mr Agani's death as "the latest example of [Serbian] brutality and butchery".

And KLA leaders have accused Serbian police of murdering the elderly politician.


Mr Agani's son Shpend Agani told reporters that his father had tried to leave Kosovo by train on 6 May, but found the border closed.

He was arrested on his return to Pristina, and family and friends identified his body days later, according to Shpend Agani.

He accused the Serbian police of what he described as the "barbaric killing" of his father.

Edita Tahiri, a prominent political leader and another member of the delegation to France, described Mr Agani's death as "an irreplaceable loss for all Albanian people."

Fehmi Agani, who was in his 70s, was one of the founders of Mr Rugova's League of Democratic Kosovo and held a doctorate in sociology.

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