Together in 2020. – The Year of Challenges

Foto: KoSSev

We welcome 2020 in a similar way we did the previous year – Pristina’s taxes on imports of goods from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are still in force and the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue does not seem likely to continue any time soon. Serbian-Montenegrin relations are also increasingly worsening due to the adoption of the Religious Freedom Act – which the Serb people in Montenegro, led by the Montenegrin Metropolitan, assess as discriminatory and as an attack on religious heritage and identity. In a local context, the possibility of the Self-Determination party forming a government in Pristina places the future of the Kosovo Serb community in an uncertain position as they fear further administrative favouring of ethnic majorities. 

Arrests of police officers

Three major arrests of police officers marked 2019 – the May arrest of over 30 officers suspected of involvement in smuggling, the October arrest of the Kosovo Police Inspectorate announced as a continuation of the May police action, and finally, the October arrest of two police officers under the Special Prosecutor’s Office order, in connection with the murder of Oliver Ivanovic.

All these events disturbed the Kosovo Serb community, primarily due to the manner in which the actions were carried out as political representatives and other prominent figures from the Kosovo Serb community described them as unnecessarily violent and extravagant.

The passing year – police arresting police

The trial for the murder of Oliver Ivanovic

This year also brought the long time expected news regarding the investigation into the murder of the prominent Kosovo Serb politician, Oliver Ivanovic. An indictment was filed early in December against six people suspected of involvement in the murder of Ivanovic, followed by a preliminary hearing on December 30th.

The hearing was however postponed as the indictment was amended and a lack of translation in Serbian. Besides being one of the official languages in Kosovo, it is also the native language of all six suspects.

The news of the indictment itself has garnered a lot of interest, but the document was greatly criticized over the assumptions of it not containing information on the perpetrators and instigators. A criticism was also raised on the claim that the case itself is based on an attempt to prove a connection between persons regarded as organized crime group leaders and the suspects, but without solid evidence regarding the murder itself.

Several people are wanted, among who are Srpska Lista Deputy Head Milan Radoicic and Z.B. for who was publicly said to be Kosovo Police Operation Chief in the north of Kosovo Zeljko Bojic.

KoSSev portal in 2019 in numbers

KoSSev portal has increased the number of its readers this year, which has almost doubled since last year to include over 820,000 people worldwide. After Serbia, most of our readers come from the US, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Germany.

The KoSSev editor-in-chief, Tatjana Lazarevic received the “Stanislav Stasa Marinkovic” award for journalistic courage and special achievements in research and analytical journalism for 2019, traditionally awarded by the Danas daily

All pages of our portal recorded over 10 million views in 2019. The five most read news articles on our portal included the following:

Police action in the north and south: Police arrested Serbs, Bosniaks and Albanians, including senior officers, suspected of being part of an organized criminal group

Express objavila svedočenja zaštićenih svedoka: „Bradonje“ osumnjičene za ubistvo Ivanovića

Stupa na snagu novi kosovski Zakon o platama u javnom sektoru: Smanjene plate najvišim službenicima

Kosovski mediji: Zaustavljeni pripadnici KBS na Jarinju

Henderson company vehicle transporting money robbed in Leposavic for a third time

Srpska Lista enjoyed a decisive victory in elections but faced problems before Kosovo’s judicial institutions

2019 was marked by elections, namely early elections for mayors of municipalities in the north, as well as early Kosovo parliamentary elections. Srpska Lista enjoyed a decisive victory in both of these elections.

However, the political success of the largest Kosovo Serb party was accompanied by institutional problems. Two ministers and one deputy minister from the ranks of Srpska Lista were dismissed during the year because of certain moves and statements deemed controversial by Kosovo authorities.

Nenad Rikalo, former Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development, was dismissed earlier this year due to dissatisfaction with his work. At the end of the year, an indictment was filed against Rikalo for „abuse of office“.

Former Minister of Administration and Local Self-Government, Ivan Todosijevic was dismissed, indicted and then sentenced to two years in prison for „inciting national, racial, religious hatred, unrest or intolerance“ over his statement that „Racak was fabricated.“

Also, Vesna Mikic was dismissed as deputy minister of justice because of a Facebook post saying that „genocide committed by the NATO alliance“ had taken place in 1999.

During the day, numerous Serbian and Kosovan political representatives sent their congratulations on the occasion of New Year.

Finally, our dear readers, we wish you a year fully loaded with happiness. We wish that every day of the new year is filled with success, happiness and prosperity for you, happy new year.

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