Police officers suspected of manipulating evidence in the Ivanovic murder investigation return to work

GI SDP Oliver Ivanović
Foto: (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

Two Kosovo Police officers who had initially been detained but soon released and suspended from work over suspicion of manipulating evidence in the investigation of the Oliver Ivanovic murder – have returned to their regular duties today. The deputy regional commander for the North region, Besim Hoti, confirmed that their suspension was officially revoked.

„The suspension was dismissed and they have returned (to their job). We received the order on July 18, which, therefore, is coming into force today,“ Hoti said.

He gave no other details referring us to the Kosovo Police Inspectorate who was in charge for making the decision.

Through a short telephone conversation, PIK spokesman Arber Beka requested KoSSev to send the questions in writing, which were forwarded following the conversation.

The President of the Basic Court in Mitrovica, Nikola Kabasic and prosecutor Shyqri Syla, according to the Belgrade-based investigative media platform, Insider have interpreted differently what was seen at the crime scene, referring to the suspended police officers’ performance.

Z.Ј. and D.M. were detained on February 10, on suspicion of manipulating evidence in the case of Ivanovic’s murder.

A prosecutor with the Basic Prosecutor’s Office in Mitrovica, Shyqri Syla, claimed that a video from the scene of the murder showed the police officers removing a bullet shell, with one police officer putting it in his pocket. Also, he claimed the police officers were allegedly „on the phone to someone all the time“.

The Police officers were released two days later following a decision of the Basic Court in Mitrovica, in spite of the prosecution requesting to the court that the police officers be detained for one month.

Oliver Ivanovic was assassinated on January 16 in front of his office in North Mitrovica. There is no concrete information about the investigation conducted by both Belgrade and Pristina, even six months later. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said yesterday to a French journalist in Paris that there „has been progress“ and that results „are expected“, without specifying more details.

Ivanovic’s closest associates have criticized the police for their work on several occasions.

Ivanovic’s closest associate, Ksenija Bozovic, testified in public that the investigative unit arrived at the scene 20 minutes after the murder, and that the crime scene itself was unsecured all that time.

She also claimed that she had shown the bullet shells to one of the police officers at the scene, who commented that they had been placed there „who knows when“, and they also made a phone call to someone afterwards.

The surveillance cameras at the time of the murder of Oliver Ivanovic, installed on the premises of his party – were out of order during the murder, but were functioning again 10 minutes afterwards – Bozovic claimed was the answer she received from the prosecution when she asked what was seen on the footage.

 

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