Minister of Agriculture, Nenad Rikalo | Photo: Beta Armenija Zajmi.

Kosovo Assembly votes against dismissal of Minister Rikalo

MPs vote against a motion to dismiss Agriculture Minister Nenad Rikalo, of Lista Srpska, who was alleged to have been involved in the torture of Albanians during the Kosovo War.

Prime Minister Haradinaj appeared in the Assembly today to answer questions about the alleged accusations against Nenad Rikalo, the Minister Agriculture, Forestry, and Rural Development.

The interpellation session was requested by the Democratic League of Kosovo,  LDK, parliamentary group, after several citizens publicly accused the Serb minister of being involved in the torturing of Albanian civilians in Prishtina’s Dardania neighborhood during the Kosovo War. Two weeks ago, Kosovo Police were authorized to begin interviewing Prishtina residents about the claims.

Rikalo — who comes from the ranks of Lista Srpska, the Serb List — has denied these accusations.

During the interpellation session, Avdullah Hoti of LDK introduced a motion calling for “immediate discharge of Minister Rikalo.”

“Minister Rikalo is currently innocent. All that we are asking is that he be dismissed until all these public accusations are resolved,” Hoti said, adding, “the very fact that the Prime Minister still did not take any actions regarding this case reflects his powerlessness in the decisionmaking process as a result of his dependence on [Lista Srpska].”

The motion to discharge Nenad Rikalo from the post of the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Rural Development failed to pass, with 40 votes against, 27 in favor, and one abstention.

Prime Minister Haradinaj cited reports from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Kosovo Intelligence Agency, as well as Kosovo’s Council for Protection of Human Rights and Freedom, saying that none of them had any files on Rikalo.

“The truth will come,” said Haradinaj. “In the meantime, we don’t have to rush and victimize anyone… we do not want to behave in the same way others behaved against us.”

During the session, Donika Kadaj-Bujupi of Vetevendosje called on the Prime Minister to dismiss Rikalo, “not because he is a Serb, but because he is accused by more than twenty citizens. Discharge him and in his stead put another Serb representative who is not accused by the citizens.”

The Special prosecution said it is still working to gather evidence and that Rikalo has not yet been interviewed in regards to allegations against him.

Sasa Milosavljevic of Lista Srpska called the motion a “witch hunt.”

Another member of Lista Srpska, Slavko Simic, said that he felt sorry that “even in this Assembly, MPs want to become prosecutors, police, and judges of Kosovo.”

03/10/2017 - 17:21

03 October 2017 - 17:21

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