„The man who founded the party ‘Freedom Democracy Justice’ did not live to see this time in which Serbia is increasingly giving up on Kosovo, democracy is nowhere to be found, and justice seems completely unattainable,“ the director of RTV Kim, Isak Vorgucic, told KoSSev this morning at the commemoration of the fourth anniversary of the murder of Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic.
More than a hundred citizens, along with an Ivanovic family representative, lit candles in Ivanovic’s honor at the time and place of his assassination in North Mitrovica this morning.
For the first time, the commemoration was also attended by opposition activists from Belgrade – the leaders of the movement „Ne davimo Beograd“ Dobrica Veselinovic and Radomir Lazovic, as well as the vice president of the People’s Party Miodrag Aleksic and his associates. Predrag Vostinic from the Local Front attended the commemoration once again. Previously, Vostinic held a peace march from Kraljevo to Belgrade in honor of the slain Kosovo Serb politician.
Local political activists – a former colleague of Ivanovic, Nebojsa Jovic, who was recently named the chief commissioner of the Movement for the Defense of KiM, and Aleksandar Arsenijevic, leader of Srpski Opstanak, also paid tribute to Ivanovic for the first time today.
„As hard as it is for the family because they lost this man, it is as equally difficult for all of us in Serbia because we do not know the truth about this murder. The loss of a family member cannot be compared to this, but it will equally affect our future. We did not come here because of the memory of Oliver Ivanovic, nor the memory of the crime, but to exclaim once again about the need for the truth about the murder to be revealed. Right where we are standing now, there was a pool of blood and it is probably not the first one here, it is really not only up to us gathered here, but it is up to everyone to ensure that it is the last,“ said Vostinic.
„It is a disgrace of the state of Serbia, and the international community and institutions in Pristina that even four years later, the instigators and perpetrators of the murder of Oliver Ivanovic have not been found. A phony trial is being conducted in the Pristina court, where some people are being tried for involvement in the murder, and we don’t know whom they assisted in the crime that happened,“ Dejan Nedeljkovic, a friend of the Ivanovic family, said this morning.
Oliver’s son, Janko Ivanovic, thanked the gathered citizens on behalf of the family.
„I want to tell you that your presence at all gatherings and commemorations is a support to our family. Once again, I thank you very much for that,“ he said.
„The least we can do four years after the cowardly and brutal murder is to pay tribute to him, and we did that today. Some people will walk in Belgrade today. A walk for Oliver and lighting of candles in the church of St. Sava was organized,“ Miodrag Aleksic from the People’s Party reminded.
Aleksic underlined that the citizens of Serbia must remember the sacrifice of Oliver Ivanovic.
We must answer the question of who is behind that brutal murder – he added.
„This crime must get an epilogue and we must find the instigators and perpetrators of the murder of Oliver Ivanovic. I want to believe that we will be able to find out sooner or later because he deserved it via his work, engagement, his efforts as a true leader of Serbs from Kosovo, and a model to all others who want to fight for the same values he advocated,“ Miodrag Aleksic emphasized.
Furthermore, he alleged that “the silence of the institutions of the state of Serbia that ceased dealing with the topic is shameful.“
Aleksic also commented on the fact that the Serbian referendum was not held in Kosovo today.
„I am sorry that the authorities in Serbia are slowly losing one game at a time with the so-called Pristina authorities, which shows the great feebleness of Belgrade. If we go back a few years, to all that happened – what is being said in Belgrade and what is happening in practice are two completely different things,“ he claims.
The referendum should have been held in Kosovo, the same way it was in Serbia, he added.
„By insisting on shedding light on his murder, we are in fact fighting for a society that is governed by laws, where something like this is not possible. It is devastating that we have been searching for the killers for four years. The four-year-long silence is devastating, it is devastating that we all know that this will continue. We have to fight so that it never happens again. It was important for us to come here, to let you know that we stand by you, that this is important to us, and this must not be forgotten,“ said Radomir Lazovic from Ne davimo Beograd.
The director of RTV Kim, Isak Vorgucic, stated that although the same people have been gathering in front of the GI SDP headquarters for years, the number of citizens is noticeably higher this year.
„People came regardless of the bad weather. This shows the great respect they had for the work of Oliver Ivanovic,“ said Vorgucic.
The RTV Kim director also addressed the court procedure currently being conducted in Pristina, and the attitude of official Belgrade toward this murder case and Kosovo in general.
„The man who founded the party ‘Freedom Democracy Justice’ has not lived through this time in which Serbia is increasingly giving up on Kosovo, democracy is nowhere to be found, and justice seems completely unattainable, as in this case of unsolved murder and in many other cases and the daily violation of both justice and human rights in Kosovo,“ Vorgucic added.
Lawyer Nebojsa Vlajic, who also attended today’s commemoration, told the media that Pristina’s process is „quite defective“.
„As long as people for whom no one is sure that they took part in the murder are being tried, and as long as we all demand that those behind it be revealed, because they are much more important than those who pulled the trigger, there will be no justice in Serbia,“ stressed Vlajic, noting that the proceedings in Pristina “are not doing a good job of convincing anyone that justice will be achieved.”
We’ll wait and see what will happen, but this is taking too long to give room for any optimistic conclusion – Vlajic added.
Commenting on the procedure being conducted in Belgrade, Vlajic highlighted that „no procedure is being conducted there.“
„The authorities are claiming that they are conducting some kind of investigation, but we have not heard any results of that investigation,“ Vlajic added.
Ksenija Bozovic at a tribute to Ivanovic: The real perpetrator to be brought to justice
A second commemoration was also held in front of the headquarters of the GI SDP this morning, organized by the civic initiative he founded. This commemoration was attended by Ksenija Bozovic along with fellow members of the GI SDP – which has since given its support to Srpska Lista, as well as the politician and former minister in the Serbian government, Rasim Ljajic.
„For four years now, we’ve been meeting in the same place and the perpetrator has still not been found, although he should have already been brought to justice. The only thing we have is the court proceedings, three amended indictments, different prosecutors and questioning of witnesses,“ Bozovic said.
Bozovic, who is also a prosecution witness in the Pristina proceedings, revealed that she is not optimistic and that “the proceedings do not indicate that we are close to finding the killer.“
She sent a message to Belgrade, Pristina, and the international community from the site of Ivanovic’s murder:
„We truly have no patience any longer. The institutions should do their part of the job. They can’t convince us that the cameras were not operational, because we know that it was a clear day and that the time has come to reveal satellite images. To finally find and bring to justice and show to all citizens, family, his colleagues – who killed Oliver Ivanovic.”
Bozovic said that the GI SDP does not intend to give up on this request, while also reiterating that the murder was politically motivated.
„Oliver Ivanovic was not an ordinary citizen. He was a politician, one of the most prominent ones. He was not a businessman, he did not own companies. It was nothing but a well-organized political assassination,“ Bozovic said.
She expressed hope that “the real killer would finally be brought to justice.”
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