Kosovo Serb Convicted in Ivanovic Murder Case Flees Justice

Kosovo Police told BIRN they are unable to arrest Marko Rosic, who was sentenced to 10 years’ prison and a 10,000-euros fine over the murder of Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic, as his whereabouts are unknown.

Kosovo Police has not been able to arrest Marko Rosic, around two weeks after the Prishtina Basic Court sentenced him to ten years’ imprisonment and a 10,000-euros fine for “participation in or organisation of a criminal joint enterprise” related to the murder of Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic in North Mitrovica in 2018.

The court had ordered for him to be remanded in custody after the announcement of the verdict, on June 28. But Veton Elshani, Kosovo police deputy commander for the north, told BIRN on Tuesday that the police had received the court’s custody decision that afternoon, around five hours after the verdict was announced .

“So, when we received the decision, it was too late,” Elshani told BIRN, explaining that Rosic “was not even there, he was not accessible to us”.

“Since then (June 28,2024), he has not been accessible to us,” Elshani explained.

Pristina Basic Court told BIRN that an arrest warrant for Rosic was issued as soon as the court was “informed by the Kosovo Police that they could not execute the court’s decision” on remanding him in custody.

Rosic had not been arrested during the announcement of the verdict because he had not been present in the courtroom, the court told BIRN, explaining that it is not obligatory.

The court explained that the decision on custody was sent to the prosecution, the police and his lawyer via email and to Rosic himself via post. There is no confirmation of whether he received the decision.

Rosic had been present in the courtroom during the closing statements on June 21, around one week prior to the verdict against him and his flight.

He was in custody from November 21, 2018 until June 3, 2022, when he was remanded to home custody. On November 4, 2022, the court replaced home custody with an obligation to report to the police regularly.

BIRN contacted the prosecutor, Burim Cerkini, and presiding judge, Valon Kurtaj, in the case but did not receive any response by the time of publication.

After three years of disturbing testimony, frightened witnesses and the absence of the main suspects in the courtroom, the Pristina Basic Court found four people guilty of involvement on Ivanovic’s murder..

Ivanovic had once been a Kosovo Serb hardliner but had come to oppose the growing dominance of the Serbian government-backed Srpska Lista party in northern Kosovo, and the powerful businessmen connected to it.

Pristina Basic Court on June 28 found four Serbs – Rosic, Nedeljko Spasojevic, Zarko Jovanovic and Dragisa Markovic – guilty of involvement in the murder of Ivanovic, who gunned down in front of his party offices in North Mitrovica on January 16, 2018.

The presiding judge said that Spasojevic was found guilty of abusing his official duties and of possession of illegal weapons. Markovic was found guilty of complicity in “abuse of official duty” and not guilty of revealing confidential information; Jovanovic was found guilty of complicity in abuse of official duty and the illegal possession of weapons.

The verdict can be appealed.

The indictment claimed that Spasojevic, Rosic and Rade Basara had acted “as an organised criminal group together with Milan Radoicic, Zvonko Veselinovic and Zeljko Bojic, who are at large, and intentionally… participated in the criminal actions of the group,. knowing that such participation would contribute to realising the criminal activities of the group”.

“Each indictee committed specific criminal acts and these acts resulted in the death of Oliver Ivanovic,” the indictment alleged.

The verdict came three years from the start of the problematic trial, where the two men suspected of being leaders of the criminal group that organised the murder, former Srpska Lista deputy leader Radoicic and businessman Veselinovic, were only mentioned in the indictment but never charged. Both denied any involvement.

Source @Prishtina Insight: Read more : Kosovo Kosovo News