Court dismisses indictment against one of the defendants in Oliver Ivanović murder case due to delay

Court dismisses indictment in Ivanović murder  Oliver Ivanović KoSSev

Court dismisses indictment against one of the defendants in Oliver Ivanović murder case due to delay…

„The prosecution did not comply with the deadlines for indictment from the beginning of the investigation against the defendant. By the decision on the expansion of the investigation dated December 4, 2019, and until the indictment was filed on December 27, 2023, more than four years have passed. More precisely, it has been 4 years, 7 months, and 8 days,“ reads the court’s decision dismissing the indictment against Milan Mihailović, known by the nickname „Popi,“ writes Pristina-based Kallxo today.

Kallxo reported that Milan Mihailović – ‘Popi’ was the last person to be indicted by the Special Prosecutor’s Office as a member of the criminal group led by Milan Radoičić, in connection with the murder of Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanović.

During an interview at the Special Prosecutor’s Office on March 8 last year, Mihailović denied that he was in North Mitrovica at the time of Ivanović’s murder. He also denied that he received assignments from Radoičić, stressing that he did not know the individuals mentioned in connection with the case of Ivanović’s murder.

KoSSev: In the same month, Mihailović was released from custody.

In front of the court on March 12 this year, he pleaded not guilty to the criminal offenses of „participation or organization of a criminal group“ in connection with the criminal offense of „obstructing evidence or official procedure,“ „intimidation,“ and „falsification of documents.“

The court dismissed the indictment raised against him on December 27, 2023, as unlawful because the whole process was late, Kallxo writes today.

According to the file that this portal had insight into, the court declared procedural actions of the Special Prosecutor’s Office against this person as unlawful, bearing in mind that as per legal provisions, investigations must be completed within two years and can be extended by another year.

Therefore, this media reports, the stipulated time limit of a total of three years for the investigation has been exceeded.

The court found that more than four years had passed since the decision to expand the investigation until the indictment was filed.

The Code of Criminal Procedure provides that in the event of suspension of the investigation, it is no longer included in the time for conducting the investigation or in the statute of limitations.

According to the file cited by Kallxo, the Court asked the Prosecutor’s Office to submit a decision suspending the investigation against „Popi,“ but the Prosecutor’s Office did not submit any document that would prove that the investigation was suspended.

The file reveals that the investigation was suspended for Milan Radoičić, but not for Mihailović.

„The court, in an effort to carry out a complete and objective review of the case, asked the prosecution for a decision to suspend the investigation against the accused Milan Mihailović, even though it is not in the case file. The prosecutor informed the court via e-mail that he has evidence of the submission of the decision on the suspension of the investigation from November 21, 2019, for the suspension of the investigation against the accused Milan Radoičić, while he did not receive such a document from the prosecution for the accused Milan Mihailović,“ reads the file dated July 2, 2024.

Apart from the court finding that there was no suspension of the investigation, the Prosecutor’s Office did not file an indictment three years after the investigation, as required by law.

„Given that the investigations in this criminal case were not suspended, the prosecution was obliged to file an indictment within three years after the investigation. Since the investigations were started on December 4, 2019, they had to be completed by December 4, 2022. According to this deadline, the indictment had to be processed within the same year (2022). It was processed on December 27, 2023,“ the file states, reports Kallxo.

That’s not all.

After investigating the case, the court found that even the decision on expanding the investigation did not contain the criminal acts for which the indictment was filed.

Special prosecutor Burim Cherkini filed an indictment for the criminal offense of „participation in or organization of a criminal group“ in connection with the criminal offense of „obstructing evidence or official proceedings,“ „intimidation,“ and „falsification of documents,“ while the investigations, according to the court, were for the crimes of „participating in or organizing a criminal group,“ „endangering United Nations personnel and personnel related to them,“ „causing general danger,“ and „aggravated murder.“

In the summary of the decision of Judge Lutfi Shala, it is stated that because of these actions of the prosecution, the accusation was filed outside any legal deadline and is therefore „illegal and there is no grounds to continue with the review of the factual situation.“

In the end, the court concluded that for the criminal offense of „threats“ against this person, criminal proceedings are being conducted in parallel in the Court in Mitrovica and that the indictment for this criminal offense against him, which was brought on February 13, 2023, is now in the review phase.

The last one arrested in connection with the murder

Mihailović was arrested on October 20, 2022, although he had been wanted by the police since 2019.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office in Pristina, he was also arrested on suspicion that, as a member of an organized criminal group, he actively participated in the execution of the criminal offense of „Participation or organization of an organized criminal group“ related to the criminal offense of „Aggravated Murder“ – for the murder of Oliver Ivanović.

Milan Radoičić and Zvonko Veselinović are mentioned in the third indictment in the case of the murder of Oliver Ivanović, in addition to six names – who are designated as the leaders of the criminal group linked to the murder of this Serbian politician.

The investigation into Veselinović began in April 2019, when the name of Milan Mihailović was added to the list of persons to be investigated.

In December 2021, the blacklist of the US Department of the Treasury was published, which included 13 businessmen and individuals from the north. Among them were the names from the indictment in the case of the murder of Oliver Ivanović: Milan Radoičić, Zvonko Veselinović, Žarko Veselinović, Željko Bojić, Marko Rošić, and Milan Mihailović.

After his arrest in October 2022, Mihailović was released in March 2023, having previously pleaded not guilty.

On December 27, 2023, the Special Prosecutor’s Office filed an indictment against him and charged him with four criminal acts.

According to the indictment, Mihailović is accused of „participation in an organized criminal group, obstructing evidentiary or official proceedings, threats, and falsification of documents.“

The indictment states that since 2014, as a member of an organized criminal group together with Nedeljko Spasojević, Marko Rošić, Silvana Arsović, and Rade Basara, he acted under the leadership of Zvonko Veselinović and Milan Radoičić, with certain roles and in mutual cooperation for a longer time period: „whereby each of the defendants carried out concrete incriminating actions for the needs of the mentioned group, in which case, as a result of the actions of this group, the murder of the now deceased Oliver Ivanović took place.“

It is stated that on March 2, 2019, in Mitrovica, while the criminal proceedings for some of the accused were ongoing, he influenced an anonymous witness in order to encourage him to refuse to testify in the previous proceedings.

It is also stated that on October 25, 2021, Mihailović seriously threatened an official, an investigator of the Kosovo Police Inspectorate (PIK). Mihailović was then, despite an active arrest warrant, interviewed by the Kosovo Police in Mitrovica and released, and for this reason, the PIK opened an investigation against the police officials who „let him go.“ Mihailović allegedly then sent threats to this investigator.

Also, Mihailović was accused of falsely introducing himself as Zvezdan Andrejić, for which he had forged documents, on October 19, 2022, in Mitrovica, when police units arrested him by order of the court.

However, during the same check, an identity card of the Republic of Serbia was found, forged in the name of Zvezdan Andrejić, but with his photo, which he used to avoid being arrested.

The Basic Court in Pristina sentenced Marko Rošić, Nedeljko Spasojević, Dragiša Marković, and Žarko Jovanović to a total of 22 years in prison and fined them for involvement in the murder of Oliver Ivanović. Silvana Arsović and Rade Basara were released.

According to the latest information, the Kosovo judiciary issued a warrant for Rošić, who received the harshest sentence (10 years in prison and a €10,000 fine) after it was determined that he has been on the run since the day the verdict was announced.

KP: Marko Rošić is on the run, arrest warrant issued

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