The trial of the former Kosovo Minister of Local Government Administration, Ivan Todosijevic began at the Pristina Basic Court today, five months after the Kosovo Special Prosecutor’s Office issued an indictment against the Srpska Lista official.
Todosijevic is charged with „inciting national, racial, religious hatred, restlessness or intolerance” for his statement on the Racak incident during a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the NATO bombing in Zvecan.
„The cause of the aggression on our country was a so-called humanitarian catastrophe in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, the fictitious Racak, and these Shiptar terrorists were the ones who invented it, who committed the biggest atrocities in Kosovo and Metohija for which no one was held responsible. They committed crimes before the NATO aggression, killed good Serbian hosts in their workplaces. They continued their murderous rampage during the aggression and even after the arrival of the so-called peacekeeping mission in Kosovo and Metohija“ – Todosijevic said at the time, after which an investigation was launched against him in early April.
Previously, Kosovo Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj dismissed Todosijevic because of his „hate speech“ and „ignorance, hatred and insults of the Racak victims“.
Todosijevic pleaded not guilty at today’s hearing. His lawyer, Nebojsa Vlajic, told the KoSSev portal that he had asked for his client’s acquittal.
„The defense, of course, claims that it is not a criminal offense, that what he said is permissible freedom of speech, which is guaranteed by both the laws of Kosovo and the Constitution of Kosovo and the European Convention on Fundamental Rights.“
Because of his statement on the Racak case, Todosijevic bears „political responsibility“ – Vlajic said. On the other hand, he added, there are no criminal responsibilities in this case.
The court heard the arguments of the prosecutor and the defense, presented the evidence in the indictment, and scheduled a verdict for Thursday at 9:30 am.
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