Kosovo’s Serbs demand the release of Oliver Ivanovic from detention

Kosovo’s Serbs demand the release of Oliver Ivanovic from detention

Pristina, 14 August 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Elton Tota

Some hundreds of Serbs protested today in front of the Court of First Instance in Mitrovica, demanding the release of the Serb politician of Kosovo, Oliver Ivanovic, who is expecting his trial, after being charged of war crimes.

Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo, Branimir Stojanovic, participated in the protest along with the four mayors of the northern communes of Kosovo inhabited by a Serb majority.

During his speech in front of protesters, Stojanovic said that they will never abandon Ivanovic.

“Ivanovic and no other Serb will be left on their own”, Stojanovic said.

Marko Djuric, head of the Kosovo office at the Serb government, said that prime minister Aleksandar Vucic is talking to the international community in relation to Ivanovic’s case.

“Serbs are imprisoned for as long as Ivanovic is in prison”, Djuric said.

“Those who decided to extend his detention period must know that a critical time is nearing. This is the eighth day that Ivanovic has started a hunger strike and now they’re responsible for his health”, he added.

Djuric said once again that Serbia will offer assurances in order for Ivanovic to be released from detention.

Ivanovic is accused of war crimes for ordering the killing of ethnic Albanians in Mitrovica on April 14, 1999 during NATO bombardments, a time when he’s believed to have been the head of a paramilitary police unit.

Along with another person, he’s accused of encouraging the killing of ethnic Albanians during the unrest on 3 February 2000, when many Albanians were kicked out of their homes.

Four other defendants, Dragolub Delibashic, Aleksandar Lazovic, Ilija and Nebojsa Vujacic, father and son, also face charges of murder and attempted murder. All of them have pleaded innocent. /ibna/