Two years since the video „Dishonest People“, 21 months since the murder of Ivanovic


Twenty-one months have passed since the murder of Oliver Ivanovic and on this day, exactly two years ago, a video was broadcast on TV Pink and TV Most, which labeled Ivanovic as a „dishonest man“ and a „traitor“ who „cares more about his car than the lives of his fellow citizens.“ Ivanovic’s murder has still not been solved and the creator of this video has never been revealed.

The video was first broadcast on October 16, 2017 – exactly three months before Ivanovic’s assassination, during prime time on TV Most and TV Pink.

The choice of words of the ‘pre-election’ video were read at prime time during the news on TV Pink and TV Most. The video aired during the national news at 11.26h on October 16th, 2017, it was preceded by statements by the Director of the Kosovo Office, Marko Djuric and the Mayor of North Mitrovica, Goran Rakic talking about an “anti-Serbian” coalition.

“Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija remember quite well that Tadic, Jeremic and Oliver Ivanovic cut the salaries of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija by 50%, and bragged about it. We remember that they never had the support of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija because we were aware of the hurt they caused to the Serbian people. But Oliver Ivanovic was a self-proclaimed leader of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, not because the people elected him,” the North Mitrovica Mayor and Srpska Lista chief, Goran Rakic said at the time.

„What kind of man is Oliver Ivanovic, a candidate for mayor of Kosovska Mitrovica? Only a few hours after he left the premises of his party, the XX brother (full name in the video) of a candidate from Ivanovic’s electoral list, brutally stabbed a young man XX (full name in the video) with a knife, who then passed away. Oliver Ivanovic did not cry over this murder, but he did manage to cry for his Volkswagen Passat for 15 days. Is a member of the Volkswagen family more important than the life of a member of the XX family (full name in the video) to Ivanovic? Do we want such people to represent the interests of the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija? Do we want to be led by people who care more about their cars than the lives of their fellow citizens?! Unscrupulous people who betrayed our trust, people who have the support of Pristina! On October 22nd you choose. Make a smart choice!”

A day later, Oliver Ivanovic and Dragisa Milovic, who were running for mayors of North Mitrovica and Zvecan, told the media that they will be filing criminal charges against the then editor-in-chief of TV Most, Ljiljana Jankovic, as well as against the instigators of the video. The court, they said at the time, would „determine whether it (the instigator) was the Serbian Progressive Party from Belgrade or Srpska Lista“.

TV Most said at the time that by announcing the lawsuit, Ivanovic and Milovic „placed inappropriate pressure on the media“ simply because they were „dissatisfied with the content of the pre-election video of the opposing Srpska Lista which was broadcast under commercial conditions during the paid-for time“.

They demanded that professional and broadcasting associations „strongly and clearly condemn this attempt to intimidate the media“.

While the fate of Oliver Ivanovic is known, the instigator of the video is still unknown, and so is the fate of the lawsuit.

Lawsuit dismissed, the video aired during a campaign?

Ivanovic’s colleague from that period, Dragisa Milovic told KoSSev that the lawsuit was then filed with courts in both Serbian and Kosovo systems. Two years later, he only received a response from the court within the Kosovo court, which read that the lawsuit was „dismissed“ because it was „a video aired during the pre-election campaign“.

„I still haven’t received an answer from the Serbian court, although it all went through the lawyers, so I cannot speak about the details. I’d have to look at the case,“ said Milovic, who retired from public life once again after the murder.

Oliver Ivanovic’s nephew, Aleksandar Ivanovic, a lawyer by profession, told KoSSev that he does not know the status of the lawsuit, reminding that „it is always possible to initiate a new process.“ Ivanovic, however, refused to specify whether the family would do so.

„The Ivanovic family will not miss the opportunity to remind the public of the media satanization of Oliver, first and foremost, of the video which shows blood being spilled and a sniper scope,“ he added.

GI SDP: New government in Kosovo to find the instigators and killers of Ivanovic

The GI SDP „Oliver Ivanovic“ also reminded that twenty-one months have passed since the murder.

“The new government in Kosovo indicates that the fight against crime and corruption will be their priority, then all communities in Kosovo should expect them to fulfill this promise, and the GI SDP expects them to find the instigators and prosecute Oliver Ivanovic’s killers,“ they wrote in a statement.

GI SDP also stated that the investigative bodies are „occasionally reacting“, thus „giving the citizens an impression that their statements were used only for individual political actions“.

Oliver Ivanovic was the most exposed leader of Kosovo Serbs since 1999. He played a key role in defending the city from attempts of a violent entry of extreme Albanians from the south in the first half of the 2000s – as it was seen by the Serbian public. Ivanovic was regarded as a brave but moderate and pragmatic politician, who advocated dialogue, cooperation and democratic values. He was hit with six bullets in the back, at around 8:15am, on this day twenty-one months ago, in front of his office premises where he went to work for almost 20 years, in the centre of northern Kosovska Mitrovica.

Ivanovic was buried in the Alley of Distinguished Citizens in Belgrade. The murder passed without a commemoration in the municipality of North Mitrovica, where he was a councillor, a large crowd of people escorted him through the streets – behind his coffin and along the side.

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