Lawyer Halimi on Rosic’s defense, the protected witness, investigation details and extension

mahmut halimi
Foto: Koha

Marko Rosic’s lawyer, Mahmut Halimi, did not deliver the Kosovo Prosecutor’s Office request for the extension of the custody of two suspected Serbs to the Serbian authorities – a document which Aleksandar Vucic and Marko Djuric presented to the public – but he does not rule out the possibility that one of his colleagues did. Serbian officials claimed that this paper is evidence received from one of the attorneys of the two suspects that their custody was extended because of the testimony of Rada Trajkovic. While claiming that Rosic is not guilty, Halimi emphasized that his client is primarily being suspected based on the testimony of Ivanovic’s brother Miroslav Ivanovic. Ivanovic testified of being allegedly followed by Rosic. Halimi further confirmed that there is a protected witness in the case of Ivanovic’s murder, however not connected to his client and confirmed that the investigation was extended to Zvonko Veselinovic and Milan Mihailovic.

One of the six suspects in the murder of Serbian politician Oliver Ivanovic, Marko Rosic has been in custody since November 23rd of last year. He is currently on hunger strike in a prison in Gnjilane, seeking transfer to North Mitrovica.

In addition to Rosic, Nedeljko Spasojevic and Dragisa Markovic were also arrested at the time, while the Vice-President of Srpska Lista, Milan Radoicic was named as the fourth suspect. Today, only Rosic and Nedeljko Spasojevic remain in custody.

At an initiative by the Rosic family, Mahmut Halimi gave an interview to KoSSev via telephone, stating that it is still not known for what crimes his client is charged.

Miroslav Ivanovic’s testimony the only indication against Rosic”

„He has been in detention for five months without knowing what exactly he is suspected of. In all this time, the Kosovo Special Prosecution failed to provide any evidence that supports the suspicion that my client is connected with this case,“ said Halimi.

In his words, the suspicion cast upon Rosic is mostly based on a statement of the late Ivanovic’s brother, Miroslav, a judge within the Kosovo court system, who said in his testimony that he allegedly saw Rosic following him.

„The claims of Mr. M. Ivanovic, on which the request or the prosecutor’s investigation is based, is not evidence, these are only indications and no one can decide to initiate a procedure against someone on the basis of indications,“ claimed Halimi.

On the other hand, in addition to Miroslav Ivanovic’s statement, a piece of paper was found in the pocket of the murdered Oliver Ivanovic, as the prosecution previously announced, containing a registration number of a vehicle owned by Rosic family.

Halimi emphasized that the alleged paper was found at the very beginning, when the investigation was initially launched. He however, claimed that „it remains unknown in what way and how it entered the procedure.“

Therefore, if the charges are pressed, he will request an expert assessment of the paper as there is information that the paper was not found on Ivanovic, but in the meantime.

In addition to this piece of paper, photographs of Rosic’s vehicle were also found in Oliver Ivanovic’s phone.

Halimi confirmed the speculations about the existence of a protected witness in the case of the murder of Oliver Ivanovic, but he claims that he „is not connected to Rosic“.

„He (the protected witness) speaks about some other things. He has nothing to do with Rosic,“ he said.

When Rosic and Spasojevic’s custody was extended for the second time in February, it was announced that the investigation against the three suspects involved in the murder of Oliver Ivanovic – Nedeljko Spasojevic, Marko Rosic and Milan Radoicic – was expanded to eight more crimes, including organized crime, drug smuggling, felony murder, an attack on UN staff and aggravated assault.

Therefore, there is only one indication that remains against my defendant – the testimony of Miroslav Ivanovic, claimed  the attorney.

Unspecified charges

The public is still unclear about which suspect is charged with which specific crime.

Halimi confirmed for KoSSev that he still does not have information about this, adding that, aside from the prosecutor’s announcement, „nothing concrete was done.“

The investigation was extended to Veselinovic and Mihailovic, accused of the same crimes as Radoicic

Belgrade-based KRIK announced that the investigation was extended to Zvonko Veselinovic and Milan Mihailovic.

Halimi also confirmed this information. He added that Veselinovic and Mihailovic were also accused of the four crimes the Vice-President of Srpska Lista, Milan Radoicic was charged with, without specifying which crimes exactly. However, he added that the prosecutor did not provide any evidence in favor of these allegations.

“Groundless extension of custody”

The custody of Rosic and Spasojevic, who have been in custody since November of last year, was extended for the third time on Monday, April 23rd. Halimi listed the reasons for the “groundlessness” of this decision.

He said that the prosecution did not provide evidence for the extension of custody. The second reason in favor of the groundlessness of this decision, according to Halimi, is that both the request and the decision were identical and without any difference whatsoever in all three extensions of custody.

The prosecutor was obliged to underline in his request for the extension of custody what was done in the past five months and which evidence he managed to collect – he added.

As the third reason, he shared his belief that there was a violation of the legal procedure.

The decision on the extension was made on the same day when the request was submitted to the lawyers of Rosic and Spasojevic to give their response to the request of the prosecutor.

Halimi filed an appeal to the Appellate Court in Pristina on Wednesday on the decision to extend the custody, adding that he will also appeal to the ombudsman.

The Head of the Kosovo Office, who published the contents of this document on social networks, said during his guest appearance on the Pravi Ugao show on RTV Vojvodina that the document was delivered to the Serbian authorities by a defense attorney of the two suspects, and that the request was sent to him by the Kosovo Prosecutor’s Office. He did not specify which defense attorney.

„No, no way, maybe my colleague did, I did not deliver it to anyone,“ Halimi denied that he was the defense attorney Djuric talked about.

He added that he does not believe that the prosecution has evidence to file an indictment against Rosic.

Serbian politician from the north of Kosovo, Oliver Ivanovic, was killed on January 16th, 2018, in the early morning hours outside the courtyard of his party offices in the centre of North Mitrovica. To date, no charges have been filed and the perpetrators, as well as the instigators, still remain unknown.

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