News 30 Aug 17

Kosovo Remands Serb in Custody over War Crimes

A Kosovo court remanded 74-year-old Bogdan Mitrovic in custody for 30 days after he was charged with committing war crimes against civilians during the conflict in 1999.

Petrit Kryeziu
BIRN
Pristina
Bogdan Mitrovic in court. Photo: Kallxo.

The Basic Court in Prizren on Wednesday issued a 30-day detention order for Bogdan Mitrovic, whose arrest earlier this week sparked an angry reaction from Belgrade.

Mitrovic, a father of six, is suspected of committing war crimes against the civilian population and serious violations of the laws and customs of non-international armed conflicts in the Suhareka/Suva Reka area of Kosovo in the spring of 1999.

He was detained in a village near the town of Suhareka/Suva Reka on Monday.

Serbian public broadcaster RTS reported that he was among a group of about 50 displaced Serbs visiting homes and a Serbian Orthodox church in Mushtisht/Musutiste, a village in the Suhareka/Suva Reka municipality.

Serbian officials condemned the arrest, with President Aleksandar Vucic calling it “brutal” and claiming that he was “personally assured” that there was no information to suggest Mitrovic had done anything wrong, reported B92.

Marko Djuric, the head of the Serbian government’s Kosovo office, called the arrest “merely an excuse to continue the policy of ethnic cleansing” of Serbs in Kosovo.

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