EULEX: We were not in any way prevented from attending or observing KP operations in Banjska

EULEX vozila

„The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) was not in any way prevented from attending or observing the operations conducted by the Kosovo Police on 24 September“ – the mission said in response to the allegations shared by the head of the Kosovo Office, Petar Petković, in an urgent media address.

Petkovic announced that EULEX was supposedly „not allowed to participate in the Banjska investigation, so that Pristina could hide the evidence of the brutal murder of two Serbs“.

„And why is everyone silent now? Why does no one, except for President Aleksandar Vučić, speak about the fact that the Kosovo Police was the one that secured the place that it investigated, and at the same time did not allow EULEX to participate in all the investigative activities and the collection of evidence on the spot?“ Petković said.

In a response to KoSSev, EULEX denied Petković’s allegations.

„Following the attack carried out against the Kosovo Police and the subsequent intervention of the Kosovo Police, mobile patrols of the EULEX Formed Police Unit/Reserve Formed Police Unit and other EULEX’s staff members were in close contact with the Kosovo Police and arrived at the area surrounding Banjska Monastery in northern Kosovo.“

They recalled that EULEX doesn’t have an executive mandate to conduct investigations.
They further detailed that: „In line with its mandate and within the limits permitted by the then ongoing security situation, EULEX closely monitored the security developments during the entire of the Kosovo Police’s operation, remaining at all times in close coordination with the Kosovo Police and KFOR/NATO.“

„The Mission also monitored and is continuing to monitor activities carried by the Kosovo authorities in relation to the attack, such as investigations, seizures and searches.“
Petkovic also shared with journalists copies of the letter that Serbia sent to EULEX, containing „a very important request“.

„Given that we have been informed that the autopsy of the body will be carried out in the coming days, and that it has not been done by the time of writing this letter, we request that you enable the autopsy that will be performed in Pristina to be attended by an independent team of international experts in forensic medicine, within which there would be at least one expert delegated by the Serbian side,“ the letter reads.

In the night between Saturday and Sunday, in an ambush at the entrance to the village of Banjska in the North, Kosovo Police sergeant Afrim Bunjaku was killed, and three other police officers were wounded.

In a clash that broke out between the police and an armed uniformed group believed to be Serbs from the north, at least three alleged attackers were killed, while several wounded and arrested. An arsenal of weapons, estimated by the Kosovo police to be worth 5 million euros, was seized. The village was under siege for three days, and the property of the Banjska monastery was also damaged, primarily when an armed group broke through the locked metal gate with an armored vehicle.

Belgrade has denied any involvement, claiming that the Serbs from the north „rebelled because they did not want to suffer Kurti’s terror and fell for his provocations.“

Pristina continues to claim that the Serbian authorities were behind this „terrorist act“.

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