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News 25 Oct 13

Kosovo Probes Serbian Minister's Pre-Election Visit

Kosovo prosecutors are investigating the legality of a visit by a Serbian minister ahead of the November 3 local elections.

BIRN Pristina

The State Prosecutor of Kosovo on Thursday said it had launched a probe following Alexander Vulin's "unauthorized" entry into Kosovo from Serbia "far away from the official crossing point on October 17”.

The investigation was being undertaken to “gather evidence, based on which it will be decided whether to raise an indictment or cancel the investigation”.

The Prosecution also asked the Basic Court in the northern town of Mitrovica to issue an arrest warrant for Vulin, but the court has not responded yet.

Vulin went to Kosovo despite a ban from Kosovo authoritiee, because he did not obey rules during his previous visit.

During his visit to Kosovo last Thursday, Vulin toured Gazivode Lake, near Zubin Potok, the Valac electricity substation, the Trepca mines and the Serbian Orthodox monastery at Gracanica in the company of Serbian energy minister Zorana Mihajlovic.

The issue of Serbian officials visiting Kosovo is a sensitive on on both sides of the border. As Serbia still claims Kosovo as part of its own territory, its officials claim the right to enter Kosovo whenever they like.

Officials in Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008, see this as breaking the law.

Vulin told the media he had entered Kosovo because he had not been told to stay out by the EU rule-of-law mission in Kosovo, EULEX.

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