A car burnt out in the village of Prelez; KP classifies case as „arson“

An Audi A6 Allroad vehicle was burnt out last night in the village of Prelez in the municipality of Zubin Potok. Marko Apostolovic from Josevik, who claims to be the owner of the vehicle, suspects that his car was set on fire. The police confirmed for KoSSev that the case was classified as arson and that the investigation is ongoing.

Marko Apostolovic from Josevik reached out to KoSSev late last night, declaring that his car was burnt out the night before.

He claims that he parked the vehicle next to the road in the village of Prelez, after his tires were torn due to a landslide.

Apostolovic says that the employees of a nearby gas station informed him that his car was on fire. He expressed suspicion that it was intentionally set on fire.

„About half past one, they informed me that my car was on fire, now I don’t know if it was set on fire, but parts of it exploded. Considering that the front part was blown up – the hood and everything else, I doubt that an explosive device was used,“ Apostolovic told KoSSev, remarking that the vehicle was in good condition.

Confirming that he immediately reported the case to the police, he says that he believes the KP officers did not „follow the procedure“ during the investigation.

„If it seems as if the car was set on fire, a specialist should conduct an investigation. That did not happen. They just came and took pictures, it lasted a minute or two and then they left,“ said Apostolovic.

He also claims that he filed a complaint against the police in Zubin Potok in South Mitrovica yesterday.

What do the police say

The Kosovo Police confirmed today in its daily report that they received a report that „a car with Serbian license plates was set on fire under unknown circumstances“, and that the fire was contained by firefighters.

At the same time, the Deputy Commander of the Kosovo Police of the Region north, Besim Hoti, confirmed in a conversation with KoSSev that the case was classified as arson.

„He left the car because, as he said, he had flat tires and, as we suspect, someone started the fire. The case was classified as arson, and the investigation will show what happened,“ said Hoti.

He adds that the appellant, in his statement to the police, did not name any potential suspects.

Addressing Apostolovic’s allegation that the police allegedly did not follow the procedure during the investigation, Hoti says that KP officers did their job and classified the case as a criminal offense – arson.

„Firefighters, who put out the fire, were present, as well as the fire inspectors, who are in charge of determining the cause of the fire. It is not the police’s job, but the fire inspectors’ job. Afterward, they inform us, and we inform the prosecutor, there is a procedure,“ Hoti explained, reiterating that the investigation is ongoing.

This is the fourth car arson case in the north since the beginning of this year. At the beginning of April, the car of a 22-year-old girl in North Mitrovica was set on fire. In the same month, in Zubin Potok, a car with foreign license plates owned by a woman from Kosovo was lit on fire. Also in Zubin Potok, the police received a report that on May 2nd, unknown persons set fire to two tires on a car parked in a private yard.

With the exception of a bombing case, as well as at least one car arson during the October 2021 unrests in the north, this is the 55th case of vehicle arson in Serb-populated areas since 2014. See the full list of car torchings HERE.

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