Konjufca from the assembly: Ivanovic was a war criminal, the PM thinks so too

Oliver Ivanovic was a war criminal, there’s no question about it, the Chairman of the Kosovo Assembly, Glauk Konjufca, said in the assembly today. The opposition leaders conveyed the same opinion, once again criticizing Albin Kurti through strong condemnations of the slain Kosovo Serb leader.

Just a few days after Kosovan Prime Minister paid tribute to the most famous Kosovo Serbian leader, describing him as someone who worked for multi-ethnic Kosovo, Kurti’s colleague and assembly speaker presented a completely differing stance on Ivanovic.

„Both the prime minister and I share an opinion about Mr. Ivanovic, on what he has always been, nothing can change the biography of Mr. Ivanovic as a politician, his responsibility in all the suffering that was done to our people is evident and he was punished for it. We said it openly and we called him by the name that belongs to a man who carried out such actions and he was punished and qualified as a criminal and that is our opinion,“ Konjufca said, in response to questions from several MPs, including Blerta Deliu Kodra from PDK.

Konjufca’s statement took the center stage in headlines published by Kosovo media.

Kodra elaborated on everything she attributed to the murdered Serbian leader as a war crime from 1999, stressing that Kurti’s words offended everyone in Kosovo, from the families of the victims, through other crimes, and Kosovo institutions. She said that Kurti made a „huge mistake“ by saying what he said a few days ago, describing his words as a „scandalous“ statement.

Driton Selmanaj from LDK presented similar allegations, accusing Ivanovic of standing behind the massacre of Albanians. The same accusations were made by Hisen Berisha from PDK and Armend Zekaj and Arben Gashi from LDK.

The opposition accuses Kurti of „glorifying and rehabilitating a war criminal“, while depicting Ivanovic as a confirmed war criminal. Addressing Kurti’s video message in Serbian in which he said that Oliver Ivanovic fought for his town, they underlined that he did so through the „massacre of Albanians“.

They also read out the names of Ivanovic’s alleged victims.

According to the opposition, none of the crimes Ivanovic committed were removed from his biography.

The fact that Pristina officials referred to Oliver Ivanovic as a war criminal is a criminal act, lawyer Nebojsa Vlajic assessed for KoSSev yesterday. Vlajic also emphasized that they are talking about a man who was never convicted.

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“.

On Wednesday, 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.

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.

On January 21st, 2016, Oliver Ivanovic was sentenced to nine years in prison for „war crimes“ committed in 1999. He was tried according to a joint indictment which included retired colonel of the Serbian MIA, Dragoljub Delibasic, Ilija and Nebojsa Vujacic, as well as Aleksandar Lazovic, all of whom were acquitted.

In February 2017, the Kosovo Appellate Court returned the proceedings to a retrial, and the verdict was never finalized because Ivanovic was killed on January 16th, 2018. Ivanovic was also charged with crimes from 2000 but was acquitted of those charges.

Ivanovic was shot dead on January 16th, 2018. Five years later, the killers and instigators of his murder have yet to be found, the trial is being conducted according to the amended indictment, the protected witnesses keep refusing to testify. All those who have been in custody until were released on their own recognizance.

Read more here:


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


Vlajic: Calling someone who was not convicted a war criminal is a criminal act

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