The Kosovo police arrested one of their own early on Wednesday morning on suspicion of involvement in the murder of Kosovo Serb political leader Oliver Ivanovic almost two years ago.
Another police officer was wanted under the same warrant issued by the Basic Court in Pristina. Arrested officer was a Serb. Another person was arrested for illegal possession of weapons, a police press release said.
The Serbian pro-government TV Pink and state TV (RTS) said early on Wednesday morning that the Kosovo police special unit ROSU “burst into” the north of Kosovo in 25 armored cars.
Kosovo Special Prosecutor Syl Hoxha said that Wednesday’s police operation in northern Kosovo was conducted under orders from the prosecution by the Serious Crime Department of the Pristina Basic Court, and later told reporters that the arrested men worked under instructions from Milan Radojicic and criminal organisations he headed, N1 reported.
Hoxha earlier confirmed that two people were arrested and that a search was underway for a third person who he identified by the initial Z.B.
The Special Prosecutor said the two men who had been arrested were suspected of involvement in organised crime, hiding evidence and other activities which he said were linked to the murder of Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic who was gunned down in front of his party offices in Mitrovica North almost two years ago.
Later on Wednesday, Kosovo police told reporters that the arrested work as a part „of the criminal organisations led by Milan Radoicic.”
“As you know, very well organised criminal groups operate in the north led by Milan Radojicic who Kosovo prosecutors issued an international warrant for,” Hoxha said.
Two police officers named in the arrest warrant were involved in the investigation into the murder.
Hoxha confirmed to Pristina-based KTV that senior Kosovo police officer Rade Basara was being interrogated.
KTV said that fellow police investigator Zeljko Bojic is at large and identified his son as the second person arrested for illegal possession of firearms.
Bojic’s son was later released.
Djuric: Operation is part of attempts to link Kosovo Serbs to crimes and intimidate them
Serbian government official Marko Djuric confirmed on Wednesday that the Kosovo police are searching for Zeljko Bojic, Kosovo Police Operations Commander. The head of government Office for Kosovo told TV Pink that “the ROSU unit broke into his apartment, searched it, took away his son Vasilije and arrested police officer Rade Basara who was working on important cases”. Djuric said that the operation is part of attempts to link Kosovo Serbs to crimes and intimidate them.
Serbian Police Director: We had information beforehand that a police operation would be conducted in the north of Kosovo
Serbian Police Director Vladimir Rebic said that he had information beforehand that a police operation would be conducted in the north of Kosovo. He told the RTS that 24 armored vehicles entered Mitrovica north, claiming that the deployment is against regulations and is another case of the Serbs being intimidated. He said the operation shows Pristina’s frustration over the fact that it had to withdraw its application for membership in Interpol. Rebic said that Serbia is prepared to intervene if “an exodus of the Serb people happens” adding that he is convinced that won’t happen.
Srpska lista: Operation was aimed at destabilizing the situation and intimidating the Serb people
The Belgrade-backed Srpska lista condemned what it said was a brutal incursion by armed Albanian special formations in the north of Kosovo.
A Srpska lista statement said that the operation was aimed at destabilizing the situation and intimidating the Serb people in North Mitrovica and turn the attention of the Albanians away from Pristina’s failed attempt to win membership in Interpol. The Srpska lista also demanded the release of the two people arrested in the operation.
“The mistreatment of innocent citizens without any evidence is becoming the standard mantra used by Albanian leaders to hide their defeats and failures,” the statement said and recalled that a similar operation was launched just two days after Pristina failed to win Interpol membership in November 2018.
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