“1000 candles” lit in Ivanovic’s honor in Belgrade and North Mitrovica

The thousandth day since the murder of Kosovo Serb politician, Oliver Ivanovic was marked in North Mitrovica and Belgrade last night. During the manifestation – symbolically named „1000 candles for 1000 days of silence,“ the citizens paid tribute to the assassinated politician, while also aiming to alert both Kosovan and Serbian authorities and international representatives of the lack of justice. The citizens lit the candles in the late politician’s honor at the site of Ivanovic’s murder in North Mitrovica and the Church of St. Mark in Belgrade as well.

Despite the rainy weather, several dozen citizens of North Mitrovica rallied together with Ivanovic’s family and family friends. Although failing to show optimism about a possible court epilogue of Ivanovic’s assassination, they also pointed out that Oliver has left a deep mark in Kosovo Serb politics and North Mitrovica.

Ivanovic’s son, Janko Ivanovic, accompanied by his mother and uncle, laid flowers at the site of Ivanovic’s murder.

Janko Ivanovic underlined that the family is not certain whether there will be a judiciary outcome. He added that this is a difficult time for the family.

According to Ivanovic, he will remember his fatheras a great fighter – for truth, justice, and North Mitrovica.

Journalist Branislav Krstic emphasized that no one in Belgrade or Pristina had seriously tackled the case of Oliver Ivanovic’s murder.

At the same time, he expressed the belief that there is no international interest – that is, no interest of the „Euro-Atlantic interest groups“ in resolving this case.

“What is the message to the citizens of Serbian nationality in Kosovo?! Is it that it is not punishable in Kosovo to shoot at the freedom of speech, at the freedom of thought, to shoot at political opponents? At the same time, the message to those who dare to go against the Vucic-Thaci regime, against Srpska Lista, which is a joint project of Belgrade, Pristina, and international – or ‘Euro-Atlantic interest groups.’ That anyone who dares to raise their voice against them will share Oliver’s fate,“ Krstic told KoSSev.

Krstic, like many of his fellow citizens, shared doubts that perpetrators of this crime will be prosecuted and face justice.

Ivanovic’s close friend, Momcilo Adzic shared his sadness and feelings of insecurity because many things remain unresolved even 1000 days after the murder.

Oliver has left a deep mark in the lives of the citizens of North Mitrovica, but also the lives of everyone in Kosovo, Adzic added.

„We sadly gaze upon as nothing is still happening with his case. This issue is nowhere near resolution,“ he added.

On the other hand, the citizens in Belgrade, including Oliver Ivanovic’s brother Miroslav and nephew Aleksandar Ivanovic, friends and opposition politicians, paid tribute to Ivanovic by lighting candles at the church of St. Mark.

„As a family, we are bothered by the fact that we have 1000 days of silence behind us, we are absolutely treading water and nothing has happened,“ the nephew of the late Kosovo Serb politician, Aleksandar Ivanovic told Nova.rs.

„We only had political bickering between Belgrade and Pristina and an attempt to transfer responsibility from one side to the other,“ he added.

According to N1 reports, the impression was ruined by an event which took place at the entrance to the church, where Simo Spasic, the President of the Association of Families of Kidnapped and Murdered Kosovo Serbs, was told by a woman that he had no place to be there. The citizens then gathered, however, and the event ended peacefully.

The North Mitrovica and Belgrade tribute, originally initiated by the United Opposition of Serbia, stirred wide media coverage.

Ivanovic was shot dead on January 16th, 2018. In February of the same year, the first suspects – the two police officers who conducted the investigation on the day of the murder – were arrested in connection with Ivanovic’s murder. The indictment against them, and against four other suspects – some of whom were arrested in November 2018, was filed several months later – in December 2019.

The trial of the suspects in the case of the murder of Ivanovic began two years after the murder, in February 2020. The defendants appeared before a judge on two occasions, while in their second appearance before the judge, in March, all the defendants pleaded not guilty. However, six months after the start of the trial, in September this year, the Court of Appeals accepted the appeals of the defense attorney and returned the case for retrial and deliberation.

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