Serb employees of the Basic Court in N. Mitrovica go on strike

Serb employees of the Basic Court in the north of Kosovo from North Mitrovica, Zvecan, Zubin Potok, and Leposavic went on strike today, the director of the NGO ACDC, Dusan Radakovic, confirmed for KoSSev. The strike arrives following yesterday’s decision by the Court of Appeals in Pristina to confirm a two-year prison sentence issued to Srpska Lista member, Ivan Todosijevic.

In a statement for KoSSev, Radakovic confirmed that the employees of this court have not gone to work today. The ACDC director, however, explained that he has no knowledge on how the strike came to be or who initiated it.

„Two judges told me, one of them from the administration, that they received a call from their colleagues at nine o’clock last night who told them not to come to work tomorrow,“ Radakovic said, noting that he is not aware as to whether the strike will continue in the coming days.

He added that he had not been able to reach the president of the Basic Court in North Mitrovica, Nikola Kabasic, regarding the matter.

„None of them knows whether they will be going to work tomorrow or not,“ Radakovic added.

In the meantime, the Kosovo Judicial Council (KJC) confirmed that it had received information that Serb judges and support staff of the Basic Court in North Mitrovica did not show up for work today.

The KJC said they are closely monitoring the events taking place in this court.

„The council is addressing this issue and we hope that the judges and support staff will return to their jobs,“ they specified.

According to Pristina media, Serb judges working in the courts south of the Ibar River also declared a boycott due to the decision of the Court of Appeals concerning SL member, Ivan Todosijevic, IndeksOnline reports.

A special department of the Basic Court in Pristina sentenced SL MP Ivan Todosijevic to two years in prison on December 5th, 2019, for his statement on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the NATO bombing at a ceremony in Zvecan. At the time, he said that the cause of NATO aggression in FR Yugoslavia „was the so-called humanitarian catastrophe in Kosovo, the fictional Racak“.

In the meantime, Todosijevic’s attorney filed an appeal to the Court of Appeals. This court, however, rejected the appeal as unfounded, thus confirming the first-instance verdict.

Ivan Todosijevic’s attorney, Nebojsa Vlajic, told KoSSev yesterday that he refuses to comment on the decision of the court, as the text of the decision has yet to be presented to the defense.

The news that the Basic Court’s verdict concerning Todosijevic has been confirmed was announced yesterday on the website of the Court of Appeals in Albanian language.

The decision was harshly criticized by official Belgrade. The Kosovo Office stated that it violated the Brussels Agreement on justice, but also that the Pristina judiciary caused incalculable damage to the reconciliation process in Kosovo.

The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic also reacted. Vucic emphasized that the decision of the Court of Appeals brutally and grossly violated Todosijevic’s right to free opinion and a fair trial – which was agreed in Brussels.

Srpska Lista also criticized the Court of Appeal’s decision to reject Todosijevic’s appeal. They announced that, due to the new circumstances, they will reconsider their participation in the upcoming local elections.

 

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