The head of the Kosovo Prime Minister’s Cabinet, Selim Selimi condemned the Mayor of North Mitrovica, Goran Rakic’s statement during a recently held protest when he referred to the Kosovo leaders as „war criminals.“ Selimi estimated that Rakic „is assuming the role of prosecutor“ and emphasized that „state officials of the Republic of Kosovo“ should be held accountable for their statements.
Following the statements of the former Deputy Minister of Justice, Vesna Mikic and the Minister of Administration and Local Government, Ivan Todosijevic, which led to their dismissals, one of Goran Rakic’s statements at yesterday’s protest – held as a reaction to the actions of special Kosovo Police units, which resulted in the arrest of police officers and citizens in the northern municipalities – also caught the public’s eye.
Rakic – revolted by the actions of members of the Kosovo Police who „hit, destroyed, demolished, shot – to allegedly restore some kind of order“ during the arrest operation in the northern municipalities -sent a message to „the war criminals“ that if they “want to clean up the yard, they should first clean up their own.“
Selimi reacted to Rakic’s statement, claiming that the North Mitrovica mayor is prejudiced, as well as that he is “assuming the role of the prosecutor.” He further emphasized that Rakic should be held accountable for such statements, especially considering the fact that he is „an official of the Republic of Kosovo“.
„We fully respect the right to gather for the purpose of non-violent protests and freedom of speech, but these rights and freedoms are related to responsibility, especially when it comes to state officials of the Republic of Kosovo,“ Selimi said, the Pristina-based Gazeta Express reported.
Mayors postponed their Oath?
Rakic and his colleague from the Zvecan municipality, Vucina Jankovic, were supposed to swear an oath at a ceremonial session of the Kosovo Assembly yesterday and officially assume the functions of mayors of their Kosovo municipality, however, the sessions were postponed.
Selimi added that crime amnesty is unacceptable.
„Goran Rakic’s denial of crime and praise of resistance to the law enforcement authorities are unacceptable, considering that he is the elected mayor of the municipality of North Mitrovica,“ he said.
He furthermore explained that political rhetoric that incites hate speech is irresponsible and undermines efforts to establish the rule of law.
“As such it is contrary to Kosovo’s normative legal acts and in conflict with the spirit of co-operation and peace promoted by the EU. When he declared himself a prosecutor and a judge, prejudging that Kosovo leaders were ‘war criminals,’ Rakic showed his irresponsibility and abuse of freedom of expression,“ he said, Gazeta Express reported.
The former Deputy Minister of Justice, Vesna Mikic was dismissed in March this year after she said that „NATO aggression against Yugoslavia was a genocide,“ while the former Minister of Administration and Local Government, Ivan Todosijevic was dismissed for denying the alleged war crime in Racak. An investigation has been launched against Todosijevic, however, there is no new information about the status of the investigation to date.
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