The seven month assassination: Oliver speaks now louder than ever

Oliver Ivanović iz sudnice FOTO: Tanjug
Oliver Ivanovic from the courtroom PHOTO: Tanjug

Seven months have passed since the murder of Oliver Ivanovic. In addition to the sporadic information from the investigation there has been no visible progress in the two ongoing investigations. Since yesterday, the public has become familiar with a third – Ivanovic’s wife Milena Popovic, who has recently started working in the cabinet of the Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, said in an interview for Vecernje Novosti daily newspaper that she is conducting her own, third, investigation “since day one, which might be more successful than the official one“. The two Presidents, Hashim Thaci and Aleksandar Vucic, have announced several times the results will be presented, even with specific dates but until now, silence has remained.

“It is obvious that the trial is actually taking place in public,” the brother of the murdered Oliver Ivanovic, Judge Miroslav Ivanovic said in an interview today with Belgrade’s daily Danas.

Confirming it to be a political murder, Ivanovic says:

“It is quite possible that Oliver was murdered as an opponent of the partition of Kosovo.”

The statement comes in the midst of a political and media avalanche on the ethnic partition of Kosovo.

„I am rather reserved in declaring the final conclusion, but Oliver definitely had a different political stance on partition and delimitation, and he had spoken about it in many places and on various occasions. You can see this in his television appearances, on the Internet, especially in the second half of 2017, at the end of his life,“ said Miroslav Ivanovic.

My brother did not have a personal enemy, he only had political relations with people around him

We turned on the lights

„Let’s hope the current unmasking will contribute to learning the truth about the murder of Oliver Ivanović, an opposition leader who was an obstacle to certain dark structures, apparently on both or more sides, to carry out an ominous scenario in Kosovo this year. Oliver speaks now louder than ever!” – said the Abbot of Visoki Decani monastery Sava Janjic as he remembered the 7 month anniversary of the tragic killing. This monk came back into the public focus after an appeal by Bishop Teodosije against the idea of ethnic partition and a warning that this would lead to the exodus of Serbian people, which was followed by Janjic’s alert on the so-called mutually staged incident which would trigger partition in the field.

A man who did not measure Kosovo and Metohija by metres and percentages; who fought for the people, not for his personal interest; who was murdered from behind, but he speaks louder today than ever before, distorting those who persecuted him; a man who did not spread defeatism, but hope – Oliver Ivanovic

„The role of our Church is to take care of her faithful people and prevent wolves who want to disperse her flock, as has happened many times in recent history. That is why we had to turn on the full lights so that all show their true faces. However, for independent journalists, this is an opportunity to unmask the autocratic regimes in the region and prevent a new Balkan bloodbath. Perhaps, out of the current conundrum, a new younger and more responsible generation emerges which would not build its future on hatred, intimidation and crime, but on mutual understanding, forgiveness and hope,” the Abbot Janjic said.

Srpska Lista has started lately issuing almost daily news releases against the Abbot accusing him of espionage, being a traitor to Serbian interests, meddling in the politics, attacking Serbia and President Vucic, having „foreign mentors“, posing the same question as they had done towards Oliver Ivanovic „What kind of man is (Oliver Ivanovic, i.e. Sava Janjic)?“

 

Covering up the murder

“We are disappointed that there is no reaction from the government in BG, Pristina and from the international organizations. As if somebody wants to cover up this murder, or they think that it’ll be forgotten,” Oliver Ivanovic’s party – GI SDP said.

They, along with family and friends, gathered this morning at 10:00 am in front of the premises of their party, where Ivanovic was murdered and lit candles in silence.

In a public announcement from this morning, they also addressed yesterday’s sudden resignation of the special prosecutor Blakaj:

„We are concerned over yesterday’s information that prosecutors in the Prosecutor’s Office of Kosovo are being threatened and their work is being hindered to the extent that they are forced to submit their resignations. This creates a bad image of the professional work of institutions in Kosovo.“

We only have the hope that the prosecutors in charge of the case of the murder of Oliver Ivanovic both in Pristina and Belgrade will resist political and all other threats and that they will work professionally, exchanging information in order to find the killer of Oliver Ivanovic as soon as possible.

Ivanovic’s associates emphasized that they do not have any details, nor information regarding the work of the investigative bodies of the Kosovo Police and the Kosovo Prosecutor’s Office.

They will not be stop posing the same questions in future: Who ordered the assassination of Oliver Ivanovic? To who and why Oliver was an obstacle?

Oliver Ivanovic was shot six times in the back on January 16th early in the morning on his way to work, in front of his party premises in North Mitrovica. Almost two months later, the investigation was transferred to the Special Prosecution Office of Kosovo due to the complexity of the case. Still, to this date, those who gave the order and those who carried it out have not been discovered. There are no suspects, or a court procedure. However, in public and some media, there are numerous concrete investigation results speculated.

He was a North Mitrovica municipal Assembly member after running in the Kosovo local election in October 2017. For over six months before the murder, Oliver Ivanović was demonized politically and publicly through the Serbian media, believed to be controlled by the main Kosovo Serb political party, Srpska Lista, upon his decision to run in the elections. The political and media campaigning against Oliver Ivanovic, was noticeably backed by some officials from Belgrade. His car and that of his coalition partner Dragisa Milovic, were torched shortly before the start of the official campaign.

Ivanović’s associates and some Kosovo Serb politicians claimed repeatedly in public that Oliver Ivanović had informed the authorities and institutions in charge in Belgrade, Pristina, as well as international administrations and Embassies that his safety was in jeopardy.

A river of people stood in rows on both sides of the road, standing in silence and mourning, and escorted the casket to Belgrade. Oliver Ivanović’s assassination sparked a chain of reactions and condemnations in Belgrade, Pristina, the region and the world.

Oliver Ivanovic was buried in the Alley of Citizens of Merits in Belgrade, while there were no commemoration sessions held in North Mitrovica or any other northern municipalities.
Oliver Ivanović was the most prominent Kosovo Serb leader since 1999. He played a key role in 1999 and the first half of 2000’s in, as the Serbian public sees it, the defense of the city from violent attempts from Albanian extremists from the south. He was known to be courageous, but a moderate and pragmatic politician. He advocated for dialogue, cooperation and democratic values.

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