News 16 Apr 14

Kosovo Serb Arrested for Post-War Murder

The EU rule-of-law mission has arrested a Serb for an alleged murder linked to violent unrest that rocked northern Kosovo in 2000 after the war with Belgrade’s forces ended.

Edona Peci

The EU rule-of-law mission, EULEX said that Nebojsa Vujacic was detained on Tuesday on suspicion of having “committed criminal offences of aggravated murder, and attempted aggravated murder”.

EULEX on Wednesday however denied reports published by local media and stressed that “the defendant arrested yesterday is not suspected of war crimes”.

BIRN has learned that the case is connected to the arrests earlier this year of Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic and retired police colonel Dragoljub Delibasic, whose detentions sparked protests in the Serb-dominated north of Kosovo.

Both Ivanovic and Delibasic were arrested on suspicion of involvement in alleged war crimes during the fighting between ethnic Albanian rebels and Belgrade’s forces in 1999, as well as killings that took place after the Kosovo conflict ended.

The violence in 2000 saw ten Kosovo Albanians killed and many more wounded and driven from their homes.

Vujacic’s family told reporters that he was not guilty and called on the Serbian authorities to intervene.

“We want the Republic of Serbia to provide protection and protect my son who was arrested despite his innocence,” his mother Rosa Vujacic said, according to Serbia’s Tanjug news agency.

She added that the family’s apartment in north Mitrovica had been damaged by a blast during the 2000 violence, along with a flat owned by their Albanian neighbours.

“God wanted us to stay alive and now my child is being abused for no reason,” she said.

Vujacic will remain in detention on remand until May 15, EULEX said.

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