Ivanovic on his uncle’s bust in Pristina: A million more such performances cannot overshadow what Oliver did

Aleksandar Ivanović sa stricem
Aleksandar Ivanović sa stricem

A million such performances cannot overshadow what Oliver did and how he lived, the nephew of Oliver Ivanovic, Aleksandar Ivanovic, said in response to the avalanche of reactions from Pristina calling the slain Serb leader a „war criminal“. „I deeply sympathize with the pain of the families who suffered and who lost their family members, but that is in no way connected to Oliver,“ said Ivanovic.

The fifth anniversary of Oliver Ivanovic’s murder two days ago was marked by commemorations in North Mitrovica, Belgrade, and other towns, statements by family members, politicians from the north of Kosovo and Belgrade, but one from Pristina as well – from the prime minister, Albin Kurti.

Once referring to Ivanovic as a war criminal, Kurti now said in a video message in Serbian that the slain politician from the north was someone who worked for multi-ethnic Kosovo, who was dedicated to the interests of his community, and treated those with whom he disagreed with respect.

Albin Kurti’s statement was met with an avalanche of negative reactions in Pristina. „Shocking“, „shameful“ – the opposition claimed.

Historians, analysts, and sociologists made numerous guest appearances on TV shows and portals, accusing Kurti of „paying tribute to a criminal“. Some alleged that „the glorification of Ivanovic is a moral, national and historical crime“, and others said that it was a tactical move of the Prime Minister of Kosovo toward the Serb community.

Those who presented themselves as the families of „victims of Ivanovic“ also made guest appearances, while media shared news pieces with headlines such as: „He can’t stop his tears while talking about how Ivanovic took away members of his family to kill them“; „The victim who testified against Ivanovic turns against Kurti“; „I curse my hand for voting for Kurti“.

The Social Democratic Party set up a cardboard bust of Oliver Ivanovic with the recent comments of the Kosovo Prime Minister on this Kosovo Serb politician in the courtyard of the Kosovo government in Pristina, where they also laid a wreath.

FOTO: Dardan Moljićaj/Fejsbuk

Ivanovic family describes such moves and messages as „sickening“ and tasteless from an emotional point of view.

„It is a gross and proven falsehood, but when it comes to Oliver, I always try to take a step back and look at the whole context from an objective point. This whole ugly and banal performance that is taking place is exclusively for internal Albanian needs,“ said Ivanovic’s nephew, lawyer Aleksandar Ivanovic.

In his words, this is an obvious political action directed against Kurti, especially in the context of what is expected in the next few months – the harmonization of the agreement between Belgrade and Pristina.

According to Ivanovic, Kurti’s very speech in Serbian about Oliver Ivanovic’s positive role seems as if he is „preparing the scenery for a final act that will obviously happen“.

„What is happening in Pristina is directed toward Kurti exclusively for their internal needs, and it is our misfortune that Oliver is being used for such a thing today. Tomorrow, during the signing of the agreement between Belgrade and Pristina – where Pristina will obviously have to concede something, they will use something else in the fight against it,“ Ivanovic told KoSSev.

Ivanovic underlined that the court proceedings led against Oliver Ivanovic had only one purpose:

„For someone to kick Oliver out of the political game and the game for three and a half years, and they succeeded in doing so. They kept him in custody for three and a half years, but they failed to tarnish his name and honor.“

The procedure that was conducted best speaks in support of this, Ivanovic adds. Prosecution witnesses who were questioned as part of that procedure did not link Oliver to the events.

He recalled the scenes from the courtroom, i.e. the testimony of the former Minister of Internal Affairs of Kosovo, Bajram Rexhepi, and the mayor of Mitrovica, who, as a prosecution witness in the proceedings, said that what he and Oliver, as representatives of the Serbs and Albanians in Mitrovica, did after the war to calm tensions warrants a Nobel Peace Prize.

„Or maybe we can take the example of another prosecution witness who, after testifying, was brought forward to accuse Oliver, which she did not do, but asked the court panel if she could come and hug him,“ testified Ivanovic, adding:

„These are just two of a dozen examples of what Oliver experienced in those three and a half years. Those who suffered losses did not blame him, but it was a clear attempt from the side to throw him out of the political game.“

Ivanovic confirmed that everything that has happened in the Kosovo public in the past two days greatly affected the family.

„He is not able to confront them personally. Oliver is unable to do what he always did – go south without security and address the Albanians in their language. For all the years of his life, Oliver moved freely, alone with his children, in that territory where others were not allowed without security. It best describes how he lived and whether he caused any harm to that community or not.“

Instead of all that, we are now looking for the perpetrators and instigators, and on the other hand, you are expected to defend his character and work, concluded Ivanovic.

The story is complex, it evokes a lot of negative emotions, but that is the cross we have to bear

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