Returnee interviewed by Special Prosecutor’s Office, denied to be arrested

policija kosvska ilustracija
Foto: KoSSev, Ilutsracija

A returnee from the village of Ljubozda, Zarko Zaric who was taken today in front of the village’s church for an interview with Special Prosecutor’s Office in Pristina has been released in the course of the same day.

The news was finally confirmed by Zaric himself to RTK2, after a Zvecan based Kosovo online portal published that he was arrested over war crimes charges, to be followed then by harsh reactions from Offfice for Kosovo and Metohija and Srpska Lista.

In the meantime, more Kosovo Serb media reported on the arrest citing their sources, while Kosovo police spokesman Daut Hoxha confirmed to KoSSev the detention of a Serb male for a hearing, as per the authorization of Kosovo Special Prosecutor’s Office, precising no other information. The Special Prosecutor’s Office remains silent on the case.

Zaric has been living as a returnee in the village of Ljubozda for the past three years. He did not have any similar problems with the law so far, and he regularly visited the church in front of which he was arrested, Radio Gorazdevac reported earlier today. Some media outlets claim Zaric worked as a police officer before the Kosovo conflict.

Hoxha: Brought in for questioning with the approval of the Special Prosecutor’s Office

Kosovo Police Spokesperson, Daut Hoxha confirmed for KoSSev that the Kosovo Police, with the approval of the Kosovo Special Prosecutor’s Office, „brought in one man today for questioning“. Hoxha, however, could not confirm the name of the person detained or the exact location of the detainment, saying that he could not officially provide such details.

The Kosovo Office already reacted to what was reported as the arrest of Zarko Zaric. They stressed that this is „a brutal example of the instrumentalisation of the Kosovo judiciary in the campaign of systematic intimidation of the Serb people.“ „Pristina’s strategy is obvious – to kill any thoughts of the return of more than two hundred thousand displaced Serbs with periodic and almost random arrests for alleged war crimes,“ the Kosovo Office wrote in a statement.

Srpska Lista also reacted, stressing that it expects the international community to react to Zaric’s arrest. There were more cases of detaining returnees in the Metohija area or Serbs at the border crossings due to the suspicion of committing war crimes.

Previously, the arrest of Bogdan Mitrovic garnered public attention. Mitrovic was arrested in Musutiste at the end of August 2017, where he lived until ’99 while visiting the village with a group of returnees. He spent more than four months in custody. Another displaced person, Zoran Djokic from Pec, was arrested at the Jarinje border crossing last February on suspicion of committing a war crime.

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