The trial of former Kosovo rebel leader Salih Mustafa will begin in September, the international Kosovo court in The Hague announced on Saturday.

Mustafa was a senior commander of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) during the 1998-99 Kosovo conflict and is suspected of war crimes.

He was arrested last September and transferred to The Hague.

The former KLA commander is the first suspect to appear before the temporary tribunal.

He is charged with the murder of a prisoner, the ill-treatment of at least six imprisoned civilians and arbitrary arrests.

His trial starts on September 15 and the first witnesses are heard five days later.

Former Kosovo president Hashim Thaçi was also transferred to the prison of the Kosovo Tribunal at the end of last year.

Just before his arrest, he announced his resignation as president because he has been officially charged with war crimes.

Thaçi was questioned by the tribunal earlier in 2020 and is also being tried.

The former president is suspected of killing hundreds of people, torture and other "horrific acts".

The temporary tribunal in The Hague was established to try war crimes, crimes against humanity and other crimes committed during the Kosovo uprising against the Serbian rulers.

The court focuses on both Kosovo and Serbian suspects.

At the time, the Kosovo conflict claimed 13,000 lives.