Ninic: Three Serbs from the north accused of „overturning the constitutional order of Serbia“ have been released from custody

FOTO: Dragan Mujan/Nova.rs

Although their detention was extended, ten days ago, for another thirty days, three of the four Serbs from Kosovo, charged by Serbian authorities of „overturning the constitutional order of Serbia“, were released from detention on Wednesday, the legal representative of one of them, Ivan Ninic, confirmed for KoSSev. „The prosecution realized that there was no way to ensure the presence of witnesses.“

In mid-April, Ninic confirmed for KoSSev that a Serb from the north of Kosovo, D.N., was arrested by the Service for Fighting Organised Crime (SBPOK), and remanded a 30-day long custody. D.N. is a former member of the Kosovo Police who quit his job during the mass withdrawal from Kosovo institutions in November of last year.

He is accused of criminal acts connected to the overthrow of the constitutional order, and that, as part of a criminal group, he allegedly participated in the wounding and attacks on Serbs in Kosovo, and car arson all „in order to set up the Serbian population.“

Ninic announced that, according to the prosecution, this criminal group consists of four persons of Serbian ethnicity and two ethnic Albanians.

Meanwhile, at the end of April, it was confirmed that another person was arrested and accused of being part of this criminal group.

As lawyer Ahmed Delimeđac confirmed at the time, S.P., a Serb from Zubin Potok, was arrested at the Brnjak crossing under almost the same charges.

He is accused, among other things, of joint action to overturn the constitutional order of Serbia, and that he personally spoke with the people and lobbied them to „turn to Pristina“.

Their detention, as well as the detention of two other Serbs who were in the Central Prison in Belgrade, was extended for another 30 days on May 16th.

Ninic, the lawyer of the individual in custody, D.N, stated that they were released from custody on Wednesday, adding that the prosecution realized that there was no way to ensure the presence of witnesses against him.

„In mid-May, my client’s detention was extended in order not to influence the witnesses, because the prosecutor assumed that he would be able to call the witnesses again and that they would come forward. However, when he saw that there was no way for that, the Prosecutor’s Office decided to propose the abolition of detention,“ Ninic stated.

He specified that there are about 10 proposed witnesses, five of whom have already come to the hearing and, as he claims, refused to testify.
After that, four more witnesses were called, one of whom came, but did not accuse D.N. but a completely different person.

„The remaining three witnesses didn’t even come to give statements, and as we heard, one of them was even on vacation in Dubai at that time,“ clarifies Ninic.

When the prosecutor called them to ask about the reasons why they did not respond to the calls to come to the hearing, they had reportedly turned off their phones.

This lawyer says that he believes that all the witnesses are under the control of Srpska Lista, the Serbian security services and, as he claims, the regime in Belgrade.

„They practically do not have the autonomy of free testimony and behavior in this situation. They do as they are told. These are the same people who picked up the phone and called 192 and reported certain events in the way they were instructed to do, all so that the police and the prosecutor’s office would have grounds to file a criminal complaint and issue a warrant for my client and other persons.“

Ninic maintained that everything was „a staged performance for the public“ with the purpose of not only taking down the extraordinary local elections that were held in the north in April, but also to persecute people.

„At least in my case, I don’t see why else would D.N. end up in custody if not because his wife was a candidate for the Party of Kosovo Serbs and showed intention to participate in the elections on April 23. When it comes to the other detainees, I understood that it was a persecution of disobedient people,“ says Ninic, noting that this is his impression.

„Individually determined structures from the North close to SL are settling accounts with all those who are unfit and who destroy their harmony“

Ninic says that in this way they were able to include an unlimited number of people in the alleged criminal group, which, he pointed out, does not exist:

„A classic example of politically staged actions and psychological abuse of people who are not close to SL.“

He emphasizes that his client, as well as other alleged members of this criminal group, did not in any way undertake any actions that have elements of the act for which they are accused – overturning the constitutional order of Serbia.

On the contrary, he believes, that order has long since been shaken by international agreements signed by the Serbian president:

„In everything that the government in Belgrade did, there are elements of overturning the constitutional order of the state, but no one was ever held accountable for that.“

Ninic points out that in addition to the arrested, those who took steps against his client and the other three were also „severely abused“ in some way.

„They had to participate in it because they receive wages from the Serbian budget. Every witness is employed in Serbian institutions in the north and they simply have to do what they are instructed to do. It is a work task, just as guarding the barricades is a work task,“ he alleged.

„It is in their job description to report their neighbors and fellow citizens, thus helping the state to arrest them. However, when they were supposed to repeat all that before the prosecutor and under full criminal responsibility – they refused to face it.“

This particularly proves that „the whole process is managed by someone else“ – he added.

Ninic expects the process to continue, the prosecutor will decide to dismiss the criminal charges and his client, as well as the other people arrested under these charges, will be cleared of all charges.

Furthermore, this lawyer announced plans to file a lawsuit against the Republic of Serbia for „unfounded deprivation of liberty“.

„My client deserves fair compensation for every day spent in custody. The citizens of Serbia will pay for that, as well as all other costs of this procedure,“ he emphasizes.

According to Ninic, only D.T. still remains in custody.



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