The trial of persons accused of involvement in the murder of Oliver Ivanovic continues

Suđenje - Oliver Ivanović
FOTO: KoSSev

The main hearing in the proceedings against the persons accused of involvement in the murder of Oliver Ivanovic continued today in the Basic Court in Pristina.

The continuation of today’s hearing was first scheduled for September 14th, and then rescheduled for September 17th. As a result of new anti-covid measures of the Kosovo government, both hearings were postponed for this week.

The interviews of prosecution witnesses began on August 30th of this year. There are 28 witnesses on the list, including three protected witnesses. It is expected that three witnesses will testify at each hearing.

Caslav Ilic and Ksenija Bozovic, the leader of the GI „SDP“ headed by Oliver Ivanovic, will be giving their testimonies at today’s hearing.

Oliver Ivanovic’s partner, Milena Popovic, will not be attending the hearing due to health reasons, it was revealed at the main hearing.

Marina Ivanovic, Oliver’s ex-wife, as well as his son Nikola, who previously represented the family as the injured party, will not be attending the hearing either.

From now on, the Ivanovic family will be represented by lawyer Milan Bigovic.

During the previous two hearings, the trial was attended by the family of Oliver Ivanovic – by Ivanovic’s first wife, Marina Ivanovic, on July 6th, and Ivanovic’s eldest son, Nikola on August 30th.

„Oliver Ivanovic’s family deserves truth and justice. We want justice to be carried out and the guilty to be punished. The court will determine who is guilty and who is not. We are joining the criminal prosecution,“ Nikola Ivanovic said in the courtroom at the time.

 

Oliver Ivanovic’s brother, Miroslav Ivanovic, told KoSSev last night that a representative of the family should be attending today’s hearing as well.

While recalling that Nikola Ivanovic took over the role of representative, Miroslav said that they also talked about hiring a lawyer to act as the family representative.

„I cannot say for sure who will attend this hearing, but a family representative should certainly be present,“ Miroslav said ahead of the hearing.

On the other hand, he added that he was not summoned to testify at the hearing, underlining that he will also respond if such a summons arrives.

After the previous hearing held on August 30th, the lawyer of the accused Silvana Arsovic, Jovana Filipovic, told the media that Miroslav Ivanovic was also intended to be one of the witnesses, but that the court „did not manage to reach him“, and the next witness on the list was called.

On the same day, however, Miroslav Ivanovic confirmed for KoSSev that he learned about the continuation of the hearing from the media, and that he had not received any summons to appear in court.

Referring to Nikola Ivanovic’s announcement from the previous hearing – that the family will consider filling a criminal injuries compensation request, Miroslav said that he doubts that it will be submitted, even though the family has the right to do so.

„Criminal injuries compensation is a mandatory part of that criminal procedure in which there is an injured party and the judge is obliged to make such a request. Members of the immediate family have the right to the request – that is non-material damages, however, I doubt that the family will make such a request,“ he said.

Commenting on the current court proceedings in trial for the murder of his brother, Miroslav says that it does not meet the expectations of the family.

„The evidentiary procedure is underway, the questioning of prosecution witnesses, but it is all focused on some criminal acts that are close to what interests us the most, however, that is not it, that is definitely not it,“ he said.

The family wants the murder suspects and direct collaborators to be prosecuted

Ivanovic furthermore claimed that the case is at the very beginning of the procedure and that it remains to be seen what will happen in the continuation of the trial.

„A large number of witnesses were announced at the hearing from both sides, so it will all take time and it will not be done quickly,“ he said, revealing that he could not give his assessment of how the procedure would end.

According to the third indictment, six people are charged with involvement in the murder of Ivanovic: Marko Rosic, Nedeljko Spasojevic, Rade Basara, Silvana Arsovic, Dragisa Markovic, and Zarko Jovanovic.

Defendants’ lawyers have maintained their earlier statements that their clients are not guilty and that those in custody should be released on their own recognizance. They believe that the indictment is difficult to prove and unsubstantiated.

The third indictment also includes Milan Radoicic and Zvonko Veselinovic, who have been identified as leaders of a criminal group linked to Ivanovic’s murder.

Radoicic and Veselinovic, however, have not been included in the indictment because the Kosovo law does not allow a trial in absentia, which was why an arrest warrant for Radoicic was issued in August 2020.

It was revoked at the beginning of the year after the Kosovo Special Prosecutor’s Office sent the request to the Basic Court in Pristina.

They explained at the time that this request was submitted because it is an „internal and confidential matter about which we cannot declare ourselves“, Kallxo reported.

The alleged decision of the Basic Court in Pristina was published in the media, which states that one of the reasons why the request for revocation of the arrest warrant was submitted is that Radoicic, from the moment of its issuance – August 2020, was not brought before the judicial authorities.

The leader of the GI SDP, Oliver Ivanovic was gunned down on January 16th by several shots to the back while entering his party premises in North Mitrovica. The Special Prosecutor’s Office of Kosovo filed the first indictment almost two years later – on December 2nd.

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