Jaksic announces a lawsuit at a public discussion in ZP, asking for the suspension of expropriation


Everyone who participates in the process of illegal expropriation – from the Prime Minister, “safari” Minister Svecla, but you as well, deserves to face criminal charges and will face them – a former colleague of Oliver Ivanovic and an heir of one of the plots that are being expropriated, Marko Jaksic, told Pristina official at the public discussion held in Zubin Potok yesterday.

According to Jaksic, the entire land expropriation process is illegal. He called on Pristina to suspend it, remove the bases and initiate talks with Serbs from the north about infrastructure projects in the interest of all communities in Kosovo, because „what was taken by force, will be returned by force“.

More than 138 hectares of land were expropriated in the last six months in Leposavic and Zubin Potok. The Kosovo government justified its decisions in one brief announcement: The expropriations were carried out due to “infrastructure projects of public importance.” The decision was met by protests from residents, who expressed their dissatisfaction and concern. It was only after the EU reacted, objecting to the procedure, that the Kosovo authorities decided to schedule two public discussions on the issue – one was held in Leposavic last week and the other yesterday in Zubin Potok.

The public discussion was attended by political and NGO representatives, the owners of the expropriated plots, their legal representatives, and the heirs, including Marko Jaksic.

Jaksic, who is set to inherit one of the parcels that is being expropriated, asked the Kosovo government officials: What facility of public importance was built on my property and how was it built before the expropriation was carried out?

„Obviously, in your legal violence, you don’t take into account what is happening on the ground,“ adds Jaksic.

He cited that one of the plots – located on Brankovo brdo in Velji Brego – was „seized“ from his family back in 2015, to install a cell tower, adding that this same plot has now been expropriated again by the decision of the Kosovo government.

„Are you aware that you are taking away your own property? That the two plots are owned by the Republic of Kosovo?“ – he asked the Pristina officials.

He reiterated that the representatives of the Kosovo government only decided to hold a public discussion to justify everything they carried out illegally, following pressures from the international community.

Jaksic then thanked the international representatives for attending the public debate:

„So that they can see Kurti’s version of rule of law and the equality that Serbs in Kosovo face.“

He then asked the director of the Department for Expropriation, Afrim Murati, who once again claimed that the Kosovo government is not violating the law, to point out Velji Breg on the map – bearing in mind that the Kosovo government in its decision on expropriation made on February 2nd, marked this site as part of the municipality of Leposavic.

„The legal violence carried out by this government can be perceived in the fact that they take away land without caring where that land is located, whether it is realistic on the ground and the actual state of affairs,“ he said.

He stressed that Murati managed to handle a situation in which he knows he is in the wrong quite well – both in Leposavic and previously in Zubin Potok.

Jaksic also referred to the previous decisions of the Kosovo government on expropriation.

„You know that everything you are doing is a violation of the law, especially Article 4, Paragraph 3 and everything listed in it. All 15 points clearly state the reasons why the government can expropriate,“ he said.

At the same time, Jaksic displayed a photo allegedly taken from the website of the Kosovo government, showing the base of the Kosovo Police in Jasenovik. He also showed a photo of the time the Kosovo Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior visited this base.

For the Kosovo government, the north is a nature reserve where they come on safari

„For all this time when the bases were made, before any of these decisions, we have had constant visits by the Minister of Police, the Prime Minister, the President, special police officers, and it is obvious that for that government the north of Kosovo has become a nature reserve where they come on safari,“ he said.

Speaking about the decisions of the Kosovo government on expropriation, Jaksic also claims that many plot owners were not properly compensated.
„Did you provide clear evidence that all these people will be fairly compensated? You didn’t, I didn’t see any,“ he said.

Jaksic stated that the February 2nd decision of the Kosovo government changed the purpose of the land, and that meadows and forests are being turned into a construction site.

„Did you get permission from the municipality for that? Do you know that according to Kosovo laws, this can be changed only after the decision of the municipal assembly? Or is it another form of legal violence?” he asked.

According to Jaksic, everything that happened in the territory of the Zubin Potok municipality a few months ago represents a gross violation of rights and acts against the criminal law of Kosovo.

At the same time, he announced lawsuit.

„And everyone who participates in it, from the Prime Minister, ‘safari’ Minister Svecla, but you as well, because you are aware that this is illegal, deserves to face criminal charges. I will pursue criminal charges against you under Article 320, i.e. illegal occupation of immovable property and 321 – damage or destruction of property“.

„This is all illegal. Suspend the procedure. Remove the bases, and start talking to us about infrastructure projects in the interest of all communities in Kosovo, including Serbs from the north of Kosovo. What was taken by force will be returned by force.“

In response to Jaksic’s allegations, the director of the Expropriation Department said that the Kosovo government has allocated 24 million euros for expropriation in 2023.

He also addressed allegations of pressure from the international community as the reason for holding the public discussion, saying that they are closely cooperating with them, and that the Expropriation Department is a professional department that „respects its independence“.

Representatives of the Expropriation Department, on the other hand, rebuffed all of the objections and accusations yesterday. They referred to the Law on Expropriation, which they read out loud at the very beginning of the discussion.

Questions from locals, civil representatives, and lawyers as to “what is being built“ remained unanswered. The representatives of the Expropriation Department from Pristina kept reiterating the messages on “road construction,“ laying “optical cables,“ “economic development,“ “increasing security,“ and the “welfare of the citizens themselves and children.“ To the claims that expropriation holds no public interest, the Director of the Expropriation Department said that if there was no public interest, they would not be holding a discussion.

The director of the Department also said that he visited parts of Leposavic and Zubin Potok, after which he deduced that there is a lack of economic development, as well as necessary road infrastructure.

When the representatives of the government stated that roads would be built to connect Zubin Potok with the villages in the municipality, the lawyers pointed out that this is not in line with the law, because the government is not the one responsible for local roads within a municipality, but the municipality itself. On the other hand, representatives of the Kosovo government said that they received requests for the construction of road infrastructure from both the residents of Leposavic and Zubin Potok.

As far as economic development is concerned, guests from Pristina only revealed that projects are in development, without specifying which ones, but in order to implement them, security levels must be increased.

Read more:

Bisevac: You won’t get away with this, we won’t allow you to take away our land

Vlajic: This is not expropriation, nor compliance with the law, but thievery and oppression

Andric Rakic: The meeting failed to fulfill legal requirements, what will be built on the expropriated land was not revealed

Residents of Z.Potok: What if someone came to you in Pristina, to your property, and then turned up to negotiate over that same property?

Mitrovic: You’re abusing your position, the people simply do not want bases

Pantovic: If you want to talk about increasing security, invest in the run-down police station in ZP – not in new barracks

Nenezic: To paraphrase Reagan’s words to Gorbachev – Mr. Kurti, tear down this base, and then we’ll talk

Mijacic: We want to be an international tourist destination, only to be chased away by special forces as if we were terrorists.

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