Translation provided by KoSSev
Srpska Lista representatives announced today that they would leave Kosovo institutions – at a local, central and other levels, if a member of the Srpska Lista presidency, Ivan Todosijevic’s verdict of two years in prison over a verbal offense remains in force.
“Serbs have no right to tell the truth and to fight for their people” – SL chief, Goran Rakic said, Radio Kontakt Plus reported.
The verdict deprived Serbs of their right to speech, freedom of opinion, the right to defend the Serb people in Kosovo, that is, the Serbs’ right to tell the truth, claimed this Kosovo official.
He emphasised if the verdict remains in force and is upheld at a higher level, he would invite all Kosovo Serb representatives to leave their posts in the judiciary, police, prosecution and local governments.
„We will not allow this case to be left as an ad acta because – I am sending a message to Pristina and to the international community now – we are all Ivan Todosijevic and we will continue to tell the truth, because he said nothing but the simple and bare truth,“ Rakic said at an extraordinary press conference today.
SL Vice-President, Igor Simic said this is the first time that anyone has been convicted of this crime in the Kosovo justice system. He added that they are waiting for the reaction of the international representatives.
He also emphasized they support the unanimous decision of the SL leadership that, if this verdict remains as such, they will leave all posts and institutions at a local, central and other levels. According to him, the question arises as to why “we should lend a hand of peace and cooperation at the moment when we have this kind of legal violence against legitimate representatives of the Serb people coming from the other side.“
Simic stressed that they see the Todosijevic judgment as “unlawful political and institutional pressure” on Kosovo Serb political representatives – not because of what he said, but “because of what he and SL are doing for the survival of Serbs in the region”.
If this verdict remains, Simic said, the question arises whether the Kosovo judiciary will also pass judgment to Finnish pathologists who distanced themselves in the Racak incident report, as well as all those journalists, including some German newsrooms, who wrote about this case and questioned the information provided by the Kosovo judicial authorities – claimed this Srpska Lista official.
„As SL, we try to be part of the solution, not the problem, but everything that has been going on over the last few months confirms our fears that no one wants to see us as partners in the future, and that they want to eliminate anyone ready to fight for the interests of the Serb people by using false allegations,“ Simic emphasized.
Simic added that this is an opportunity for the international community to show how much they care about the rule of law, about building peace and mutual trust, but also about Serbs being part of the institutions working within the Kosovo system.
The SL also announced they would leave Kosovo institutions when the Head of the Kosovo Office, Marko Djuric, was arrested in North Mitrovica, and if the ASM (Association of Serb-majority Communities) was not formed – which did not happen.
Last year, following Pristina’s introduction of taxes on the import of products from central Serbia and Bosnia and Hercegovina, there was also the possibility of them leaving Kosovo institutions if the taxes were not abolished.
When asked if they would really leave the institutions this time, SL chief, Goran Rakic replied that they put the decision on hold at the suggestion of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, in order to “maintain peace and continue the dialogue” between Belgrade and Pristina. Rakic also added that this does not mean they will not make such a decision and form the ASM, if Belgrade and Pristina do not continue the dialogue as soon as possible.
„We will listen to Belgrade, we will make decisions together, but it cannot go on indefinitely. That is why I invite both Belgrade and Pristina and the international community to sit at the negotiating table because, without it, we face big problems on the field,” Rakic said.
The former Kosovo Minister of Local Government Administration, Ivan Todosijevic was sentenced to 2 years in prison in the Basic Court in Pristina today 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“.
The defense counsel announced that they would be filing an appeal to the Court of Appeals.
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