Kosovo Police arrested a Serb, reported to be a former reservist policeman, on suspicion of committing a war crime against the civilian population during the 1998-99 conflict.
Kosovo Police announced on Friday that a Serb has been arrested near the western town of Istog/Istok for allegedly committing a war crime against the civilian population.
“After an investigative work from the War Crimes Investigative Unit, police identified and arrested a Serb for war crimes against civilian population in Kosovo during 1998-1999,” a police statement said.
The police did not name of the suspect but the Serbian government’s office for Kosovo identified him as Caslav Jolic, a father of four children who lives in central Serbia.
The head of Kosovo’s Special Prosecution, Blerim Isufaj, told BIRN that the man is suspected of committing war crimes in the Peja/Pec region.
“The suspect is from Istog, he is 54 years old,” Isufaj said.
Kosovo media have reported that Jolic, a former reservist in the Serbian police, is suspected of beating up a Kosovo Albanian from the village of Gurrakoc/Djurakovac, shortly before the end of war in Kosovo in June 1999.
According the Serbian government’s office for Kosovo, Jolic has been to Kosovo many times during last 23 years and “had no problem at all until yesterday when he was arrested under suspicious pretexts and circumstances”.
“He went [to Kosovo] to undertake certain administrative activities relating to the probate after the death of his father, when he was suddenly arrested over the recent indictment, which sheds special light on his case,” it said.
“The Pristina judiciary is constantly filing secret indictments of Serbs from Kosovo with non-credible witnesses to discourage them from returning to their homes [in Kosovo] or claiming their property rights,” it added.
A report on war crimes prosecutions published by the Humanitarian Law Centre Kosovo in April this year criticised Kosovo for its slow pace in war crimes case investigations, saying that only one new indictment was filed in 2021 and only two people were arrested on suspicion of war crimes.
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