Kosovo Convicts Serb ex-Policeman of War Crimes

Prishtina Basic Court sentenced Caslav Jolic to eight years’ imprisonment for involvement in war crimes – but his lawyer said he would appeal, adding that the evidence against his client was not convincing.

Prishtina Basic Court on Monday found former Serbian policeman Caslav Jolic guilty of involvement in war crimes in the area of Istog/Istok, in 1998 against Kosovo Albanian civilians. Under the first-instance verdict, he was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Miodrag Brklac, lawyer for the defendant, said he will appeal the verdict, which he called “catastrophic”.

“There is no convincing evidence to come to the conclusion that Caslav Jolic has committed the offence he is accused,” Brklac told journalists. “This is not only contrary to the law but also a sin, a huge sin. There is no evidence against this man [Jolic],” he added.

Jolic was accused of using torture against civilians in the municipality of Istog/Istok during the Kosovo war.

In December 2022, he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The indictment says that in 1998, a person identified only as Z.M. brought British and Belgian journalists to the site of a Serbian military helicopter crash in the village of Gurrakoc/Durakovac in Istog/Istok.

Five people wearing Serbian police uniforms including Jolic then beat Z.M. up for 20 minutes in the presence of the journalists, for bringing them to the scene. Z.M. fainted as a consequence.

In the second incident listed in the indictment, a person identified as N.F. was having coffee in a restaurant in Gurrakoc/Durakovac when five Serbian police officers including Jolic dragged him out, hitting him on different parts of his body.

In a third incident, on March 15, 1998, Jolic is accused of beating a person with the initials N.C. until several other policemen intervened and stopped him, according to the indictment.

While mistreating N.C., the prosecution claims that Jolic shouted: “You are not in Kosovo but in Serbia. This is Greater Serbia.”

Jolic’s arrest in June 2022 angered Serbia’s government. It said Jolic had been to Kosovo many times over the last 23 years and “had no problem at all until yesterday [June 3, 2022] when he was arrested under suspicious pretexts and circumstances”.

Source @Prishtina Insight: Read more : Kosovo Kosovo News