SERBIAN POLICE WAS ABLE TO IDENTIFY UNIDENTIFIED ALBANIANS
Former investigative judge of the Pristina District Court claims that police often filed criminal reports against unknown perpetrators of crimes in Kosovo. Her evidence indicates that Albanian unknown perpetrators were easier to identify than Serbian ones. The killer of Albanian politician Fehmi Agani remains unidentified; not so Hashim Taqi, current prime minister of Kosovo, who was identified as a perpetrator in an attack on a police vehicle. He was subsequently tried and convicted in absentia
Danica Marinkovic, defense witness for Sreten Lukic
The army and police filed a number of criminal reports for crimes against Albanian civilians in Kosovo against unknown perpetrators. Testifying in the defense of police General Sreten Lukic, Danica Marinkovic, former investigative judge of the Pristina District Court clarified that this was a consequence of the NATO air campaign in 1999. Often there were no eyewitnesses or enough physical evidence to identify the perpetrators.
The witness, however, believes that the reports against unknown persons played an important role: a record was made of all those crimes, and the evidence was stored for future search for the perpetrators. The witness described an example where the killers of several Albanian civilians in the village of Batuse near Kosovo Polje were identified at a later date and arrested. The criminal report was filed on 8 May 1999 against unknown perpetrators. Further investigation led to the identification of three Serbian police officers, Predrag Nikolic, Zoran Djeletovic and Ivan Ivanov, as the perpetrators. Judge Marinkovic didn’t know if they were convicted in the end because she was seconded to the Kragujevac District Court when the army and the police withdrew from Kosovo.
There were examples where unknown perpetrators remained unidentified, the witness said. The killer of the famous Albanian politician Fehmi Agani remains unknown. Agani was found in Batuse on 6 May 1999, lying on the side of the road with a gunshot wound to the head. Marinkovic noted that all the evidence about this crime is still in storage, but the investigation hasn’t moved forward. Among other reasons, this was because the Serbian judicial organs withdrew from Kosovo together with the army and the police in June 1999 and because there has been no cooperation with UNMIK.
Judge Marinkovic’s evidence indicates there has been more success in identifying perpetrators of the KLA crimes. The investigation into an attack on a police vehicle on 22 May 1993 near Glogovac started with criminal report against unknown persons. In 1997, they were identified as a group of fifteen Kosovo Albanians. Three of them were arrested and convicted, and twelve were convicted in absentia. One of those convicted in absentia is Hashim Taqi, who is now the prime minister of Kosovo. A similar example is that of the persons who tried to kill the rector of the Pristina University on 16 January 1997. The police identified the perpetrators six months after the incident. In July 1997, some of them were arrested, tried and convicted.
The trial of the Kosovo Six, former Serbian politicians and generals charged with crimes against Kosovo civilians in 1999 continues on Monday.